Spreading holiday cheer, three ladies — Melanie Manning and Tiffany Carver, both of Evarts, and Jo Ellen Hale, of Harlan — got together and collected $1,600 from local businesses and caring individuals who wanted to help children of working families needing a little extra help during the holiday. Each child was given $100 each to spend as they chose.
Sixteen children participated in the event held Saturday at Walmart.
“I just felt like this was the thing to do,” said Carver. “I like to help people and pay it forward, especially during the holidays when families have the extra expense of purchasing toys for their children.”
Manning said to her Christmas is all about “seeing smiles on children’s faces.” She said Christmas is about sharing and caring for those less fortunate.
“I remember when I was young in 1963, and our house burned the day after we got out of school for Christmas break. All I got for Christmas was a slinky,” said Hale. “My parents just couldn’t afford anything for us — they were working, but didn’t have enough money to buy extra things for us. A lot of families have to go into debt just to buy toys for their kids. I remember how it felt to not have toys for Christmas — kids want toys on Christmas. It’s nice to get clothes, but toys are what they look for.”
Also participating in the event was the Harlan City Police Department. Chief Mike Thomas said this event is a “great opportunity to share our blessings.” He said it’s a “good way of giving back and forming partnerships with friends to help others in our community.”
Shopping with the kids, Evarts Police Department also assisted with the event. Officer John Teagle said the Evarts Police Department was “honored” to be able to participate in the event.
“I wish we could do more for these children,” said Teagle. “I think these kids will remember this for a long time to come.”
Evarts Police Chief Lupe Blas said what these three ladies did was a “wonderful thing to do.”
“It makes me think there are still so many who are willing to give and help those less fortunate,” said Blas. “After all, that is what the Christmas spirit is all about — giving and sharing.”
Members of the Harlan Fire Department gave each child a fire hat and helped with the shopping. Chief Linette Hutchison said her department was “pleased” to have been asked to participate.
“This makes Christmas special for kids who may not have as much as others,” said Hutchison “This is so cool to shop with the kids. It has really made my Christmas more special for sure.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at email@example.com