Farragut Rotary at Christmas: Angel Tree & bell ringing

Tom KingFarragut, Feature

The holiday season is here. Today is Thanksgiving – Christmas parades and football on TV, lots of food and family. Tomorrow is Black Friday – mega shopping day. For many people, it’s a time to be thankful and enjoy giving thanks. They look forward to a fun and joyous Christmas with family – Christmas trees, children, toys and good food around a table with family and friends.

Many, too many, in our community struggle. No money. No trees. No toys for kids. No holiday meals. No homes or family meals. No place to live except on the streets, homeless.

The Rotary Club of Farragut and its 90 members work hard in November and December to help bring some fun and happiness to a few of these families. We go shopping. We ring bells. We donate money.

At our meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 28, our members will bring their Angel Tree gifts in for the Boys & Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley beginning around 11 a.m. at Fox Den Country Club. We buy clothes and toys, a bicycle or tricycle here and there, games, dolls and doll clothes, toy trucks, computer games and educational games, some Legos and balls and “Star Wars” toys.

This year, Faith Promise Church is partnering with the Boys & Girls Club to put on a special Christmas-shopping experience. The families will go shopping for their kids and then there will be a wrapping station for the presents. “The idea is that the families feel more involved in the process. On our end, it gives our Rotary members the flexibility to purchase from a shopping list as they feel led,” Farragut Rotary Past President Jonathan Johnson said. Each year, Johnson heads up the club’s Angel Tree program.

And for many, many years, Farragut Rotarians have enjoyed ringing the bells at the distinctive red kettles of the Salvation Army. The club’s coordinator of this fun event is Mike Singletary.

This year, Farragut Rotarians will be at the Kroger store in Farragut on the two Saturdays before Christmas – Dec. 15 and Dec. 22. The bell ringing begins at 10 a.m., and each shift is for two hours with two-person teams working one after the other. The last shift begins at 6 p.m. – rain or shine, snow or cold weather. We’ll be there! Some Rotarians bring their kids along to help. Some sing or play an instrument. It is, as one Rotarian put it, “meaningful fun.”

If you’re interested in exploring membership in Farragut Rotary, drop me an email at [email protected] We meet each Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at Fox Den Country Club.

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