The 4th Annual Cheatham County Toy Drive took place on Saturday, Dec. 5. Though its format shifted from a traditional Christmas party on the Cheatham County Courthouse lawn to a drive-by format, residents and businesses showed up to deliver toys and gifts for the community’s children – from the safety of their vehicles.
“Our 2020 toy drive may have looked different this year, but it didn’t stop the generosity of our community,” said Ashland-city resident and business owner Valerie Kemp. “Christmas 2020 is more important than ever with families struggling with unemployment and to meet basic needs including housing and food.”
Kemp started the annual event in December 2016 as a way to celebrate a milestone birthday. “As I was approaching my 40th birthday, I was taking stock of my many blessings and I certainly didn’t need my family and friends to buy me gifts,” said Kemp. “Having a birthday that falls so close to Christmas has given me so many wonderful childhood memories of Christmases full of joy and abundance. It was after a conversation with a client whose family relied on donations for Christmas – that I knew what I wanted to do.”
This annual toy drive serves children in need throughout Cheatham County by providing toys and gifts through two local nonprofit organization’s giving programs, Christmas Anonymous and the Ark Community Resource Center’s Angel Tree Program. In total, approximately 600 children in Cheatham County receive holiday gifts through these programs.
Reliant’s four Cheatham County locations in Ashland City, Kingston Springs, Pegram and Pleasant View participated in the annual event by shopping for toys and gift items for children and teens. Reliant’s local branches split the age ranges with two branches shopping for 0-12 ages, and two branches purchasing gifts for those aged 13-18. From these efforts, Reliant provided almost 150 gifts for the toy drive, which will help bring Christmas to local children this holiday season.
“Reliant’s mission of giving back to our local communities through involvement and outreach is a valuable component of our bank’s culture,” said Reliant Bank EVP, Director of Retail, Robyn Morris Medley. “As a Cheatham County native, I am especially proud and honored that Reliant can provide critical support to help strengthen this cause—and deliver a merrier Christmas to those in need within the local community.”