Reelfoot Rural Ministries 2021 Toy Store Update

By Robert Craig

The time for the Reelfoot Rural Ministries 2021 Toy Store has arrived. This ministry is a wonderful blessing for our neighbors in need, their children, donors, and staff. The very presence of God is experienced by all involved in this ministry. The Toy Store will follow the model used last year. The pandemic caused us to alter the way the Toy Store operated last year. Some of those changes proved very successful.

This year the application, donation, volunteer, and shopping processes will remain somewhat different from pre-pandemic years.  

For nearly 40 years, the RRM Toy Store has been available to families in Northwest Tennessee and Southwest Kentucky. Thanks to God, generous donors, and wonderful volunteers, Reelfoot Rural Ministries is equipped to be a conduit of God’s grace. Grace is evident through the material gifts for children and the even more important gifts of dignity, self-worth, restored hope, and joy for families experiencing financial stress in the Christmas season. In 2020, the RRM Toy Store served over 350 families and 1000 children.  

To keep the community and staff safe, the Toy Store will continue to operate differently this year. One major change is the application process. This is no longer a mail-in application. All potential shoppers must apply in person at the RRM Community Center located at 6923 Minnick Elbridge Road, Obion, Tennessee, 38240. Application dates are each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the month of November. The last day to apply for the RRM Toy Store is Monday, November 22, 2021. All applicants should bring proof of income for the entire household, photo identification, the last four digits of each child’s SSN, and $5.00 per child on the day of application. If a parent cannot make the trip to apply during the office hours of 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. a friend or relative may apply for them with the appropriate documentation and a notarized note stating the name of their substitute. All families that are approved by income and service area requirements will receive an approval letter. This letter will include a future shopping appointment day and time before the clients leave the RRM Community Center. 

The donation process has changed as well. The simplest and safest donations are monetary. Please consider this as you prayerfully discern how you will support the RRM Toy Store this year. We will accept donations of toys; however, due to high demand on the staff, we ask that you call ahead to schedule a day for drop-off. When you deliver your toy donations you will be required to have your temperature taken and wear a face covering while in the building. Financial donations can be mailed to Reelfoot Rural Ministries, 6923 Minnick Elbridge Road, Obion, Tennessee, 38240. 

The good news is that volunteers are welcome to assist in the Toy Store this year. However, the number of volunteers will be extremely limited. A maximum of five volunteers is all that will be allowed during each morning and afternoon shift. No exceptions will be made. Please call the office to schedule a volunteer shift. We will not be allowed to host spontaneous volunteers this year, all volunteers must schedule their shift ahead of time. 

Check out the Facebook page for more information.