Community Harvest Outreach aims to brighten Christmas for kids

Published 9:39 pm Monday, December 25, 2023

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Windsor-based Community Harvest Outreach continued a tradition Dec. 16 that it first established in 2003, holding its annual Lots of Toys For Tots event and helping families near and far have something special for their children on Christmas Day.

CHO Board Member Ida Goodwyn explained the vision behind the annual event. 

“Our goal is always that no child wakes up and has no toys for Christmas,” she said. “Community Harvest Outreach is very big on making sure we meet the basic needs of those in our community. We serve those who are underprivileged, single parents, a lot of grandparents also who have children that they’re raising, they need a little help, a little assistance during Christmastime, so that’s always our goal — just to make sure that none of the children wake up on Christmas with no toys.”

She noted that this year’s edition of the event was quite successful.

“We serviced approximately a hundred families,” she said. “We gave out hundreds and hundreds of toys.”

Some of these families had a relatively short trip to come to Windsor, and others had a lengthier journey.

“We have people coming as far away as Richmond, Franklin, Smithfield, Suffolk — all different areas we have people that come, because there’s a lot of other organizations that hear about us as well, and they send their people to us,” Goodwyn said. “We don’t discriminate as far as where they’re coming from. As long as they have a need, we try to meet their need.”

She noted that CHO makes a point to thank the community partners that help make Lots of Toys For Tots possible.

“We have several partners that partner with us to make this event successful, which include the Windsor Police Department, the Windsor Dollar General, the Windsor Family Dollar and the Windsor AARP — those are some of the organizations in the area that always partner with us to help us make the event a success,” she said.