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Thursday, December 1, 2022
Nana's Kids Campaign 2022 Unveiling


Carol Taylor unpacks for Nana's Kids Campaign 2022 Unveiling

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Thursday December, 1 2022

Nature: Nana’s Kids Unveiling

Location: Boys & Girls Club of Oak Orchard-Riverdale


As Nana’s Kids Campaign 2022 Progresses – Community Remembers Dorothy Gudger by continuing the tradition of giving…

The Nana's Kids Contribution Campaign continues!

Campaign 2022 is surpassing many expectations despite the challenges, changes, expectations for social distancing, and opportunities for families to remember and cherish their past traditions. Nana’s Kids Campaign continues making Christmas a very memorable occasion for our local children.  

Members of Dorothy Gudger’s family, together with representatives of the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company and the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Orchard-Riverdale have been continued 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 attended and addressed the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company every year since 2012 however in 2021 it was a public presentation at the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Orchard-Riverdale due to restrictions imposed. 

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 commentary during the 2022 Annual Campaign Drive Kick-Off….

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

Eleven years ago, my Mom’s life was tragically taken away -- just down the street from the firehouse and Boys & Girls Club, 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.

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 2022 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 bringing our 2021 collections SO FAR for Nana’s Kids Campaign over $8,000. 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 $120,875… can you believe it – who would have thought that in 11 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 1st 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!!!"