For the 36th year, members of the Greenfield Rotary Club will man the phone lines next week, taking donations for the annual Needy Kids Radiothon, which raises funds to help local kids in need.
From 6 a.m. to noon on Dec. 2, those wishing to lend a hand can call 937-981-7771 to make a donation, or even stop in at Merchants National Bank on Washington Street. The event will be broadcast on FM 97.5 WVNU, which sponsors the event along with the Greenfield Rotary Club.
While the goal of Needy Kids through its nearly four decades has been to provide for children at Christmas, Rotarian and Needy Kids organizer Barb Barton said this year, the focus is shifting to meet children’s needs throughout the year, not just at Christmas time.
“When we first began it was to make sure each child had a Christmas,” Barton said. “That was the whole goal” as there were not a lot of organizations seeing that need with local children. But, she said, as the years have passed there are many organizations that are now focused on providing Christmas for needy children.
Barton said that after talking to schools, churches, and other local organizations there are needs throughout the year that Needy Kids is shifting its focus to.
“Maybe a kid wants to play sports, but can’t get the shoes,” Barton said. Needy Kids would fill that need, she said.
Even more, things like that, she said, “could be a great incentive to keep a child in school.”
If a child needs a winter coat, school supplies, “whatever the need is, we want to be able to fulfill that,” Barton said. That is the new focus going forward. But, “We’ll still be there at Christmas time, too,” she said.
Needy Kids is working with schools within the Greenfield and Leesburg school districts, as well as other local organizations, to identify those in need and ways that Needy Kids can help.
The Dec. 2 fundraiser is the only fundraiser for the year for Needy Kids. And since it began, more than $300,000 has been given by the community, Barton said. Last year alone saw about $12,000 raised.
The money is always spent locally, Barton said previously.
People interested in donating can call during the radiothon or drop off their donations anytime at any local Greenfield bank, which includes Fifth Third, Southern Hills Community Bank, Community Savings Bank, and both the Merchants National Bank locations. Donations can also be dropped off at Fifth Third in Leesburg. Or, mail donations to Needy Kids Radiothon, P.O. Box 329, Greenfield, Ohio 45123.
“There’s a need throughout the year,” Barton said, and Needy Kids plans “to be there” to help meet those needs.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.