Food City to sponsor annual Johnia Berry Toy Drive virtually due to COVID-19

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ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – The Johnia Berry Toy Drive has provided Tri-Cities children with toys for years. This year, the toy drive will look a little different.

According to a release from Food City, the 16th annual toy drive will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The drive starts November 11 and runs through December 3.

Donations can be made online by clicking here. The tax deductible donations will be used to buy and ship toys to children across Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee.

“The pandemic has certainly made 2020 a year of unique challenges, but we feel the toy drive is as important as ever this year,” said organizer and mother of Johnia, Joan Berry. “The virtual option will allow us to safely continue to supply much-needed toys to area organizations as we’ve done for the last fifteen years.”

The Berry family has chosen the following agencies to receive toys from the 2020 drive:

  • Tri-State Children’s Home
  • Safe Passage Women’s Shelter
  • Community Help Center of Northeast TN
  • Cumberland Mountain Community Services of Cedar Bluff, VA
  • ETSU’s Little Bucs
  • HOPE Center of Greeneville, TN
  • Local schools in both Virginia and Tennessee

“Last year’s toy drive was one of the most successful in our history, thanks to the tremendous generosity of our loyal customers and associates and outstanding support of our media partner, News Channel 11, WJHL-TV. We would like to encourage everyone to please participate in the virtual toy drive, as the need is greater than ever this year,” says Steven Smith, Food City president and CEO.

Johnia Berry was murdered in her apartment in 2004. On that same day, she was wrapping toys for under-privileged children.

The drive honors her memory by providing thousands of toys for local children.

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