RCDA 2011 Christmas Outreach
In keeping with its mission to assist agencies in the community, the Richwood Community Development Agency (RCDA) recently concluded its annual bike and toy give away activities. RCDA is a nonprofit organization that engages in community related activities throughout the year. During the Christmas holidays, RCDA offers new toys or bicycles to school students and agencies that serve children. In December of 2011, students from Barkdull Faulk Elementary School received 26 new bicycles and students from Berg Jones Elementary School received 25 new bicycles. Teachers at these two schools selected student recipients. Additionally, the Booker T. Community Outreach Program received 2 new bicycles for distribution to children in their service area during their Christmas dinner and toy giveaway. These two schools and the outreach program all represent new collaborative relationships for RCDA. RCDA plans to rotate the donation of bicycles to different schools and organizations each year.
As a new endeavor during 2011, RCDA also provided Christmas gifts to 150 children who attend the Richwood Head Start Program. Children in this program are deemed at risk for academic excellence based on socioeconomic standards. As such, they are provided with early learning activities designed to enhance their development and promote future academic and economic success. RCDA provided each child in the program with an age-appropriate activity book, a Christmas coloring book, crayons, and a foam airplane. This activity represents a new collaborative relationship for RCDA that will likely be sustained.
Simultaneous to these other two activities, RCDA volunteers also procured a large quantity of food for donation to the Community Soup Kitchen (formerly Granny’s Kitchen) which feeds homeless and needy individuals 3 days per week. Due to a referral from the Booker T. Community Outreach Program and the generous efforts of the local Knights of Columbus Organization, more than 65 boxes of MREs (meals ready to eat) were picked up by RCDA members and delivered to the soup kitchen. Each group of three matching MRE boxes contained food and supplies necessary to feed up to 50 people. MRE meals included such menus as baked chicken and dressing, pasta with spicy Italian sausage, and braised beef with mashed potatoes. Each meal grouping also included vegetables, desserts, drink products, and paper/plastic products necessary to serve the meal. RCDA has a long history of collaboration with the Community Soup Kitchen including joint fund-raising activities and the provision of monetary donations/volunteer services for their annual Thanksgiving Dinner.