Youth helps lead chairty event at SMG Movie Theater
The following is a press release involves a young man who has helped lead these charity events the past couple of years.
11-YEAR-OLD SAM LOVE TO BRING CHRISTMAS TO ENGLEWOOD AND 2 TORNADO-TORN ARKANSAS TOWNS
Coming to Englewood Dec. 19th
By Chinta Strausberg
Just 9-days before Christmas,11-year-old Samuel Love is bringing his entire Beasley Academic Center school to the 87th Street Studio Movie Grill Chatham Theater, which has partnered with the youth leader for his third annual disaster relief Christmas toy drive, where he will present an adaptive tricycle, to a special needs child.
Sam’s movie day will be held on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 210 West 87th St.. The students are scheduled to arrive at 9:30 a.m. to watch either “The Hunger Games or Madagascar Mockingjay, Part I” movie, according to Sam’s father, Victor Love.
And, at 12 noon on that same day, young Sam will present a tricycle to a special needs child, and he will accept a check from the Black McDonald’s Operators Association for his toy drive.
On Friday, December 19, 2014, Sam will be coming to Englewood at 4 p.m. where he will be distributing toys at the Ogden Park, 66th and Racine.
Besides Englewood, young Sam has chosen Vilonia and Mayflower, Arkansas as the 2014 recipients of the “Sam and Santa” disaster relief Christmas toy drive.
After the Englewood toy give away, Sam will be leaving on December 21st going to Arkansas. On December 22nd, Sam will hold a Christmas party in Vilonia where he will meet the children from that town as well as those affected in nearby Mayflower. His father said he and his son would be joined by both the governor and mayors in a huge Christmas celebration.
Recently Sam held at a press conference at the 87th Street theater along with his father, Victor Love, Venisha White-Johnson, theater manager who is also vice president of Variety of Illinois, Angelique Barthel, Executive director of the Variety The Children’s Charity of Illinois, Will Adams, an independent filmmaker who is showing his film, Sex Ain’t Love at the theater, Reginald Cotton from Charity Contributors of Chicago, Sandi Torres, director of Charity Contributors of Chicago, officer Richard Wooten, Bryant Thompson from Red Level Entertainment and others.
Having thought long and hard about where he would deliver this year’s toys for children who were victims of disasters, young Love said he did his homework well before making his selection.
Sam searched the Internet,made phone calls and reached out to his parents in addition to talking to TV weathermen. “On April 27, 2014, an EF 4 tornado came through Vilonia for the second time in just three years. In 2011, a twister came through flattening homes and businesses. On the same day in Mayflower, the tornado destroyed up to500 homes and killed 16 people.
“It was heartbreaking to seethe damage that occurred there,” young Sam said. “I can only imagine the fear and pain of going through that devastation for the second time. I chose those two towns because the kids deserve to have smiles on their faces this Christmas.”
Before including Englewood as his choices for this year, young Sam rode round that community and was shocked to find out the state of poverty it is in. “We discovered that the population of Englewood is 30,900 with an average income of $12,000 a year. The unemployment rate is 21.3 percent, and the violence rate falls within the top10 hot spots in Chicago.” He noticed numerous vacant lots and said the parks“are in need of improvement.”
“After learning this, I felt the need to help make a kid smile in Englewood even though they may be going through some tough times…,” Sam said. “These three areas need our help. I believe with the help of my city, my family, my friends and others from around the world and even with the President and the First Lady, we can make a kid smile….”
Mr. Cotton brought numerous toys from his organization saying, “It’s an honor to give back to one of the youngest members of our philanthropic community. We give it up to Sam….” Adams donated two remote cars.
Barthel’s organization donated an adaptive tricycle. “We are encouraging families who have a handicapped child to apply for it through this toy drive. It can be powered by a pad with a variety of different disabilities but also by their caretakers.
“Children who don’t have a lot of core strength can still ride a tricycle. It is recreational as well as therapeutic,” she said. “Variety of Illinois is so proud of Sam’s offer and excited to be a part of this year’s event.” To apply for this bike or other mobility equipment at www.varietyofillinois.org. The application deadline is Thursday, December 18, 2014. She is hoping to give the bike on Friday, December 19, 2014, at the theater.
Addressing natural disasters can be emotionally draining even for adults let alone a child. Mr. Love said he received a call from a woman from Livonia, Arkansas who was in tears after learning of Sam’s toy giveaway. “She was excited at learning they were selected to get these toys.”
Mr. Love said the priority of Arkansas city officials there was to “get a roof over their heads and to get back to some normalcy some state of living. Toys were the last thing on their list.”Love added, “There are kids affected by this situation.”
The woman reportedly told Mr.Love that she had four grown children and that “they have nothing.” “It gets really emotional sometimes when you talk to these people because it really makes a difference when you can reach out to them,” he said.
‘This is about kids deserving and ready to feel better on Christmas Day. “I thank God for Sam’s having a heart for kids…. This is what Christmas is all about taking care of the less fortunate,” said Mr. Love.