Friends of Jack Donates Toys to Over 400 SouthCoast Families
Once again, the Friends of Jack Foundation has come through immensely to make sure the families all across the SouthCoast have presents underneath their trees on Christmas morning – 400 families, to be exact.
As I pulled up to the Friends of Jack headquarters, I was pleased to see that one of the Mattapoisett Fire engines was on the scene (but for a good reason). The garage doors opened up and there stood a mountain of toys, wrapped up in bags, ready to be delivered to their rightful families. Santa's workshop is the closest metaphor to describe what I saw.
Each year, Jill Fearons, CEO of the Friends of Jack Foundation, gets together a list of toys from each town and city's police or fire chief and then goes shopping for families from New Bedford, Mattapoisett, Rochester, Fairhaven, and every other SouthCoast community.
This was the second year that Fearons has hosted this project and all of the funds are generated through a fun little challenge called the #TutuChallenge. It starts with one person or business, they put on a red tutu and donate what they can to buy toys for the drive. Over 200 tutus get mailed out each year to businesses across the SouthCoast, who then challenge another business to take on the #TutuChallenge as a form of chain reaction.
Once the toys are bagged up and marked for each individual family, that's when a representative from each community will show up, pick up and deliver.
One by one, the Friends of Jack crew loaded up the fire truck, police cruisers and vans to get shipped off to their respected locations.
"I'm just so proud and could never have done it without the help of our community," Fearons told Fun 107. "What makes us the unicorns of nonprofits is that every last penny goes out, we don't keep anything. The idea is to help the families by giving back in a fun yet effective way. I'm proud to do it and just like that we start all over again – that's just who we are."
Fearons' final task for the year will be delivering toys to Boston Children's Hospital to help out families in need. All it takes is for a community to come together to make a difference and if it wasn't for Fearons leading the charge, the 400 families that are being helped wouldn't have had a Christmas.
St. Nick would be proud.