Filling an unmet need

Published 11:05 am Tuesday, December 19, 2017

JACKSON – It was a collaborative effort. The Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, the Jackson Women’s Club, and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 47 worked together to coordinate and collect toys for children this year.

Betty Bennett of the Jackson Women’s Club explained how they all worked together to make the toy drive successful.

“We had heard the Sheriff’s Department collected toys every year to give out to children who otherwise wouldn’t be getting stuff for Christmas,” Bennett explained. “So I approached the Sheriff and asked him if we could go in with them.”

Jackson Police Chief John Young (second from left), Northampton Sheriff Jack Smith (right) and Jackson Women’s Club President Betty Bennett pose with Santa and Mrs. Clause after the three organizations worked together to collect and deliver toys for underprivileged children. | Photo by Danny Bowman Jr.

The Jackson Women’s Club has been organizing the town’s parade for the last few decades, and this year they asked anyone interested to bring an unwrapped gift to the parade to contribute to the Sheriff’s Office toy drive. Afterwards, those donations were collected at the Jackson United Methodist Church where children gathered to have milk and cookies with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 47, made up of law enforcement officers from Northampton and Halifax counties, heard about the toy collection and decided to contribute what they had as well.

“We got together with the [North Carolina] State Lodge who went in with the Pennsylvania Highway Patrol to donate lots of toys. We were among many other lodges that participated and got some of the toys,” said Brenda Burnette, a member of Lodge 47, who added that Jackson Police Chief John Young picked up the toys and sent them to the Women’s Club.

“So between the three groups,” Bennett explained of their collaboration, “we were able to come up with two moving boxes full of toys along with several bags of toys. Quite a good collection of stuff for the Sheriff’s Department to give out.”

The toys were distributed to families in need throughout Northampton County by the Sheriff’s Office in the week after the Jackson parade, which was held on December 9.

“We really appreciate the people who donated,” Bennett said. “I know the children that receive [the toys] will appreciate them.”