CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS -- Members of the Browns Women’s Organization joined Browns front office staff and lent a hand during the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas Distribution at the organization’s Distribution Warehouse in Cuyahoga Heights.
During the event, the BWO members, Browns staff and Salvation Army distributed coats, toys and hats to nearly 3,000 families. Over the course of the two-day event, more than 7,000 children were given toys, coats and hats.
“We believe it’s a privilege to be able to help out,” said Jennifer Shurmur, wife of head coach Pat Shurmur. “What the Salvation Army is doing is providing a little Christmas magic for people that may not have had a Christmas without it. We’re just honored to be here to help people choose coats and pick out their vouchers for food and toys.
“The Salvation Army does an amazing job with coordinating this event. The fact that we’re allowed to help out and experience some of that Christmas joy is truly an honor.”
Mrs. Shurmur was joined at the event by Dru-Ann Childress, Rachel McCoy, Jenny Brown, Melinda Tucker, Jessi Carder, Kia Sandusky and Melanie Weeden.
“It’s a great group of women,” said Major Lurlene-Kay Johnson, the divisional secretary and area coordinator for the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland. “They’re hard workers. They have high energy. They come with a great attitude and they’re really spreading the Christmas cheer.
“We just love working with the Browns. They have partnered with us for a couple years now and every year, the partnership continues to grow. It’s really wonderful to see the teams in Cleveland give back to the community and they’re doing it very effectively.”
Families that pre-registered for Wednesday’s distribution received new toys for children 12 and under, a gift card for holiday groceries and a winter coat from “Coats for Kids,” as well as hats and gloves. Seven thousand Browns hats were provided to ensure each child coming through the distribution would receive their own hat.
“We take things like coats and hats and mittens for granted, but a lot of our kids in our community don’t have those things,” Major Johnson said. “It’s just really nice to give them something brand new that they can go to school and look like all the other kids and they’re warm and they can stay healthy. It’s really an important thing that we do.
“It’s so exciting and so fulfilling. Some people wonder if they ever make a different and I believe that we make a difference, but it’s not only about the Salvation Army. It’s about community. Everything that’s taking place at this event is about community. The community donated the toys. They donated money for the toys that we needed to go buy. They donated the money for the coats to be purchased. They’ve donated money for the food vouchers. Really, it’s about all of Cleveland coming together to make this event happen.”Click here for more information about Christmas Distribution or The Salvation Army.