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‘Create that joy’: Groups ‘deliver hope and toys’ to Johnson County families

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 7:25 PM EDT
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PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) serves the region by offering up free food and other items to families in need.

“We deliver Hope,” said Aaron Thoms, CAP Operation Sharing Program Manager. “We received donated products every day of the week, 365 days a year, and we put it in our local communities.”

Thursday, they were joined in that mission by Marine Toys for Tots, offering toys and snacks to send families a little joy as the potential end of the pandemic appears. And, while CAP does these events often, Toys for Tots is usually a holiday event. However, organizers say the program is planning to extend its reach, working with other local groups in the same manner as Thursday’s event.

“They’ve already been in place for a long time and helping people in this area,” said Toys for Tots representative Anthony Wilson. “We feel like it’s a great partnership in order to pursue what we’re trying to do. We just added toys.”

The groups, also working with Good360, placed items in cars as families drove through the Johnson Central High School parking lot. From candy to chips, treats were piled in. But most of the kids were most excited about the bags of gifts. Something the workers on site were excited to see.

“I asked the kids if they was all ready to get toys. After three or four vehicles, they was all just thrilled to death,” said Thoms.

Toys, board games, and more were bagged and separated into age-appropriate bins and given to the families as requested. Students from Johnson Central Elementary School also dropped by near the end of the event to pick up bags for themselves.

“The fact that we’re helping to make a difference and you see that joy. That’s the essence of what we try to do. Create that joy,” said Wilson.

That joy, according to those on site, is what it is all about.

“That’s why everyone of us are here. Just to maybe help, reach out, be a part of somebody’s life,” said Thoms. “And hopefully we make a difference in the life of a child today.”

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