By Melanie Bradley


MACHESNEY PARK – Harlem High School Student Council members and girls basketball team members gathered in the school commons area last Monday to give the school’s annual toy drive items to Harlem Township Supervisor Terri Knight.

The Township hosts the Harlem Township Toys for Kids program annually to provide gifts for families that may not receive gifts otherwise.

Harlem Principal Terrell Yarborough welcomed guests and thanked everyone for their support of the toy drive.

He first thanked organizer Carol Johnson, Harlem’s activities director, who has organized the toy drive for many years and will be retiring at the end of the school year.

“Thank you Carol for your many years of service to our community,” he said. “We will all miss your kindness.”

Yarborough then lauded the efforts of the Harlem community.

“Thanks to their efforts and the caring and generosity of our entire learning environment here at Harlem, we were able to collect $5,000 in toys, $850 in gift cards, and $600 in gift cards from Target for families right here in our community. A special thank you to Target for their continued support of our Toy Drive efforts.

“In addition, I would like to recognize the efforts of our Lady Huskies basketball team, who under the direction of Beth Meyers, also made a $1,525 donation. It warms my heart to witness the efforts of our students.

“Once again, this is a community effort,” Yarborough said. “Our Harlem family has made this a special holiday season for families here in our community. Thank you again to all responsible for this generous contribution.”

Yarborough then introduced Student Council President Elizabeth Cortz and Jessica Dahle.

Cortz said that $2,163 was gathered during the three-day toy drive and from Homecoming Week activities, including the admission fees to the Powder Puff game and the Penny Jar competition.

She also extended special thanks to Target, where all of the gifts were purchased, for their additional donations to the drive.

Dahle said that the girls basketball team was pleased to make their donation to the Harlem Township Toy Drive.

“We look forward to the way they’ll be used to help the kids in our community, and I hope they have a happy holiday,” she said.

Harlem Township Supervisor Terri Knight addressed the students present, saying it makes her really proud.

“I thank you kids from the bottom of my heart,” she said.

Vans parked in front of the school were then loaded up with enough toys to fill Santa’s sleigh and taken to the Township office to be wrapped and distributed to local families in need.Harlem toys






Melanie Bradley photo

Harlem student council and girls basketball team members gather with Harlem Township Supervisor Terri Knight for a photo while presenting the toys they gathered for the Township’s annual Toys for Kids Christmas collection.

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