Someone stole Christmas right out from under children in need this season in Mt. Juliet and Wilson County.
Thousands of dollars of toys disappeared from a Big Brothers of Mt. Juliet storage area recently.
A crowbar was used to enter a 53-foot trailer located in Lebanon, leading to the disappearance of more than half of the toys and other Christmas presents donated by Amazon to Big Brothers. For the past 20-plus year the non-profit has presented Mother’s Toy Store at Mt. Juliet Middle School.
Big Brothers’ food basket program will be affected if the organization must use its small budget to purchase more toys.
Mt. Juliet Big Brothers President Sherry Bilbrey said she is devastated. When she heard the news while shopping for presents at Dollar General, she broke down in tears.
“I honestly cried, right in the middle of the store,” Bilbrey said. “In my 20-plus years with this outreach, never have I experienced such a thing. How can anyone do that to our children. To take away their Christmas? It’s an outrage and we can’t recoup.”
Some of the items were backpacks, sleeping bags, hundreds of boxed toys, cookware sets and blenders.
“With Amazon, they donated some things for the mothers as well,” Bilbrey said. “So, they could have a little on Christmas.”
The Mother’s Toy Store will still take place on Dec. 21 at Mt. Juliet Middle School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The school is 3565 North Mt. Juliet Rd.
Last year more than 1,000 children received toys for Christmas. A companion outreach this Christmas is Big Brothers’ Food Basket Program. These are baskets of canned goods and other food available. Three hundred families were recipients last year. That event takes place from 7-9 a.m. at MJMS.
“This year is different,” Bilbrey said. “Before we delivered, but we don’t have enough delivery drivers, so those who need a basket need to come to the school to pick up their basket.”
There are bins in all of the schools across Wilson County for toy donations. The deadline to donate is Dec. 20.
“Maybe send your child with a toy to donate these last few days,” Bilbrey said.
Contact Bilbrey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (615) 202-6084 for donations or information.