Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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Joy of giving: 9-year-old leads toy collection effort for Community Table

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    Savannah Addis, 9, poses with the toys and books she collected as part of a toy drive for The Community Table’s play area. The fourth-grader initiated the toy drive after noticing the play area didn’t have many toys for kids to use.

    Contributed photos

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    A large blackboard, bookshelves, stuffed animals, costumes and Legos were among the items Savannah’s drive collected.

    Contributed photo

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    Girl Scout Savannah at The Community Table play area she improved through a fund raiser she initiated

    Contributed photo

While on a trip to volunteer at The Community Table last year, 9-year-old Savannah Addis noticed something about the nonprofit’s kids’ area.

“There were only books there and a table,” the Eau Claire girl said, noting the absence of toys and kids-oriented activities. “(I wanted to) patch it up with new stuff, like new toys and more inviting things.”

Last week, Savannah dropped off what she guessed was between 100 and 120 items — “There was quite a bit of toys; I don’t really know,” she said with a smile in her voice. They were collected through a drive she started at St. James Elementary School, where Savannah is in fourth grade. The toy drive brought Savannah closer to her goal of achieving the Girl Scouts’ Bronze Award.

To start the drive, Savannah asked her principal if the school’s monthly Jeans for Jesus fundraiser could go toward toys for The Community Table. Her project also received donations from other kids and their families, she said.

Overall, Savannah’s project brought a large blackboard, bookshelves, stuffed animals, costumes, Legos and more to the nonprofit that feeds one meal per day to anyone who needs it.

“It made me feel happy,” Savannah said of all the donations her project received.

Michelle Koehn, executive director of The Community Table, said Savannah’s donation was so big they’re not able to keep all the toys. The organization will host a toy drive from 5 to 6:15 p.m. Friday for anyone who needs them.

“She collected so many things for us, we actually won’t be able to house them all,” Koehn said. “What an incredible kid, right?”

To learn more about The Community Table, located at 320 Putnam St., visit thecommunitytable.org.

Contact: 715-830-5828, lauren.french@ecpc.com, @LaurenKFrench on Twitter

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