A multitude of toys were donated last week by teachers and students to help kids in need this Christmas in honor of former teacher and Greenfield mayor John Baal, who passed away in July.
Greenfield Exempted Village Education Association (GEVEA) President Brandon Streitenberger said that about 100 toys were donated over the period of a couple weeks from teachers, their families, and students. On Friday, students and members of GEVEA brought the donated items to the Greenfield Area Christian Center (GACC).
GEVEA, of which Baal was a past president, consists of a membership of teachers across the Greenfield School District. The association came together to make the donation in honor of Baal.
“John cared about kids, and especially those going through challenging times … Every Child deserves a nice Christmas,” Streitenberger said.
“We are trying to give back, like those who have given to us throughout the years,” said Steve Roble, a history teacher at McClain High School.
GEVEA hopes to honor Baal by giving back to the community, Roble said, adding that he hopes this helps the families that may not have had anything for their children.
This is the first year GEVEA has donated toys to the Christian Center.
“We want the families to know that we care about them. We want them to have a special holiday, and show them that there are people in this community that care about them. There are people here for you,” Roble said.
GEVEA chose GACC because of its history of helping those in need through the years.
The center is run by a board of about 14 individuals who come in and sort through items donated by people in the community. Their goal is simple: help others in their time of need.
Each donation the center receives means more families in need can be helped. And, every little bit helps.
Judy Schmidt works in the clothing department at GACC and encourages those who are able and willing to experience a day at the center on Wednesdays.
The GACC is located at 912 N. Fifth St. in Greenfield. For more information on how to volunteer or donate, call 937-981-5172. Donations can be dropped off at the center and if volunteers are not available, there is a drop box on-site.
“For the families in need this means they will have something under the tree for their kids,” said Schmidt of Friday’s donations from GEVEA. “This is amazing. We will have almost 40 families coming through to collect for Christmas and this was very helpful.”