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Friday, December 11, 2020
Nana’s Kids Campaign 2020 Continues – Community Remembers Dorothy Gudger by continuing the tradition of giving…

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Carol Taylor presents Nana's Kids 2020 Campaign Proceeds

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Nana's Kids 2020 Campaign Proceeds

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Nana's Kids 2020 Campaign Proceeds

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Nana’s Kids Campaign 2020 Continues – Community Remembers Dorothy Gudger by continuing the tradition of giving…

The Nana's Kids Contribution Site has been progressing! Campaign 2020 is surpassing many expectations despite the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements in hopes of making Christmas a very memorable occasion for local children.  You may view Nana's Kids Campaign website at https://sites.google.com/site/nanaskidscampaign/home

Members of Dorothy Gudger’s family, together with representatives of the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company, the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Orchard-Riverdale, and many other corporate and community partners have been planning to continue with the Nana's Kids Campaign, named in memory of Dorothy "Dottie" Gudger, affectionately known in the community as "Nana," who passed away in 2011.

The renamed campaign continues the tradition of the giving via their annual toy drive which the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company "IRVFC" conducts each year in the Oak Orchard, Riverdale and Long Neck communities.

Carol Taylor, daughter of Dorothy Gudger, has addressed the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company every year since 2012 however in 2020 it was a public presentation outside the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Orchard-Riverdale due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic.  As Carol has described in part of her speech, the connection of community giving: "For as long as I can remember, my mother would purchase toys and clothes all year long in support of the needy kids drive. When the kids went back to school, my mother would purchase school supplies and take them to Long Neck Elementary School. It seems so fitting that so many organizations that my mom supported or lived near and cared about have come together to help honor her memory.”

Carol Taylor’s speech during the 2020 Annual Campaign Drive Kick-Off….

Good day and thanks so much for having me again this year.

Nine years ago, my Mom’s life was tragically taken away -- just down the street from the firehouse, I feel just as strongly now that as in the face of tragedy you can roll over or you can stand up. Together we have done an amazing job supporting the kids of this community and that really is my mother’s legacy living on.

Today, with Leolga, Millie, Erica, CJ, Janice and my family, my friends, and our other community partners -- we are kicking off our 9th Annual Nana’s Kids Campaign. Can you believe it has been nine years?!

The Indian River VFC Toy Drive was my mom’s favorite charity project because of growing up in foster care, my mother felt very strongly about supporting the kids in her community. My sister and I reside out of state, but the at-risk kids that this effort supports are from this community, they are the future of Sussex County. We have had the opportunity to help mentor them, so that when they are the ones sitting here, we know that together we have built a stronger community.

As I say EVERY YEAR, these toys and clothes and the monetary donations we receive are more than just gifts or donations, each represents – kindness, generosity, friendship, love and support. I am honored every year that my family, my friends, strangers and the community donates their hard-earned money to help support this community and help honor the memory of my mom.

I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to all who are collaborating partners and the staff at the Boys & Girls Club.

On behalf of my sister, Teresa Gudger, our families and friends, I am honored to present these toys, warm clothing, and monetary donations you see here me to the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Orchard-Riverdale  and our 2020 Nana’s Kids Campaign…. In addition, I would like to present the Indian River VFC a check for the amount we received in monetary contributions through today bring the total to $8,430 and thus far bringing our 2020 collections SO FAR to Nana’s Kids Campaign which tallies over $8,430. All donations go directly to this community and the kids of the Long Neck - Oak Orchard Area.

I am beyond excited to tell you that so far our cumulative donations have reached over $90,000… can you believe it – who would have thought that in 9 years together, we would have been able to generate so much support and compassion and the number of smiles is completely priceless.

It is only December 11th and the local community still has plenty of time to support this Campaign. The Boys & Girls Club of Oak Orchard-Riverdale and the Indian River VFC are all drop off locations for donations.

As I always say "...mother may never be remembered for what she did while living, but my hope is that through the Nana’s Kids Campaign, people will not forget what she stood for and that it’s so easy to be kind. Thank you for helping me honor my mother’s memory!! Merry Christmas!!  Happy Holidays and most all Be Safe!!!"

Carol Taylor’s speech during the Annual Drive Kick-Off….

"After my mother left us in 2011, my children and nieces brought all my mom's donations to County Bank for her. It was then that we dreamed of this day, officially changing the name of Nana's Kids Campaign. When I approached Indian River Volunteer Fire Company a few years ago with the idea, I was so excited that they thought this was something we could collaborate with in the local community. So, I thank all the local organizations for coming together to support my family and the kids of this community," Taylor said. She and her sister Teresa Gudger thanked the community and their partners – Indian River Volunteer Fire Company, County Bank, Long Neck Elementary School, the staff and Board of Directors at the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Orchard-Riverdale, the Community Church of Oak Orchard, the members of the Nanticoke Indian Association and other corporate and community partners.

"FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER, MY MOTHER WOULD PURCHASE TOYS AND CLOTHES ALL YEAR LONG IN SUPPORT OF THE NEEDY KIDS DRIVE."
- CAROL TAYLOR, DAUGHTER OF DOROTHY GUDGER

We thank you for your generous support and contributions to this cause!