The TGIF giveaway was a huge success again this year. Nearly 500 people from all over the county showed up to receive free clothes, shoes, toys, baby items and household goods in the annual event. Judy Wells/Paulding County Progress
The TGIF giveaway was a huge success again this year. Nearly 500 people from all over the county showed up to receive free clothes, shoes, toys, baby items and household goods in the annual event. Judy Wells/Paulding County Progress
By JUDY WELLS

Feature Writer

PAULDING – The TGIF (Thank God It’s Free) giveaway was an overwhelming success again this year. Nearly 500 people visited the OSU Extension Building on Saturday, Dec. 2, to take advantage of the generosity of others.

Sue Wannemacher, one of the organizers of the event sponsored by Paulding United Methodist Church, said things went extremely well this year.

“We served about 500 people again this year,” she said. “And we gave away a lot of much-needed clothes, shoes and household items.”

There were also baby items, toys, small appliances and Christmas items available.

Wannemacher said she and co-chairman Vicki Kadesch were also pleased with the turnout of volunteers who helped sort, fold and organize the donated items.

“We had a total of about 100 helpers,” she said. “And on Saturday we had 35-40 people helping us. That’s one of the best years we’ve ever had as far as volunteers.”

While there were no specific requests for items this year, Wannemacher said baby clothes and other baby items are always the first to go.

“Those things are so expensive it’s hard for some people to afford them,” she said. “And most babies outgrow them in a short time. This is the perfect place to pass them along to others who really need them.”

While most items at the giveaway were gently used, monetary donations allowed the co-chairmen to purchase several new items as well. But Wannemacher said it didn’t seem to matter to most of the “shoppers.”

“As many of them left, they thanked us and said these items would be their Christmas gifts,” she said. “One person even said, ‘Thank you. Without this giveaway, our family wouldn’t have a Christmas.’ That puts a lump in my throat and makes it all worthwhile.”