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Dentist brings smile to Kids Yule Love founder by offering office for toy storage

Founder Joe Allen empties one of forty-five large bags of toys donated by Tattnall Square Academy at the Kids Yule Love warehouse in Byron in December of 2015.
Founder Joe Allen empties one of forty-five large bags of toys donated by Tattnall Square Academy at the Kids Yule Love warehouse in Byron in December of 2015. jvorhees@macon.com

Days away from the biggest toy donation of the year, Kids Yule Love founder Joe Allen was in a quandary this week.

A borrowed warehouse in Byron was under renovation, no longer safe for volunteers and too dusty for toys.

“I didn’t know where we were going,” Allen said Wednesday afternoon.

He appealed to the public, describing his desperate situation less than three weeks before Christmas.

“I don’t ask unless I need it,” he said.

Once word spread, Allen’s phone rang.

Macon dentist Dr. Samer Othman had seen the story on macon.com and was on the line to save Christmas.

Othman will allow the toys to be stored in an empty office suite.

“I had heard of Kids Yule Love for a long time, and it’s such a good cause,” Othman said. “You hate to see any charity like that struggle.”

Allen, a retired firefighter who will soon take the oath as a new Macon-Bibb County commissioner, was confident someone would come through.

He’s seen the generosity of Middle Georgians in years past.

In this case, it took just one.

“As a matter of fact, I didn’t get any other calls. This was just a godsend to me,” Allen said.

Othman has been following Allen’s good deeds for years.

“It’s the time of the year for giving, and we certainly believe in that,” Othman said.

Monday, Kids Yule Love will pick up hundreds of toys at Tattnall Square Academy, which historically has collected truckloads of gifts for needy families.

This year, Allen hopes to make a brighter Christmas for about 1,800 children.

He is now busy moving toys from Byron to Macon and no longer worrying about storage.

“It really picks you up,” he said of Othman’s offer. “My spirit’s high right now. I’m so thankful to God.”

Liz Fabian: 478-744-4303, @liz_lines

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