‘It means everything:’ Several organizations host Christmas event for displaced families at Jenny Wiley State Park

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Dec. 10, 2022 at 6:04 PM EST
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WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - In July, flooding rocked much of the region and caused several families to be without homes. Now, four months later, many families are still staying at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park.

Floyd County Public Health Director Martha Ellis saw a need to spread a little Christmas cheer and soon after began planning an event for these families.

“Not only as a community member here, I grew up in Hueysville, Kentucky, but I’m also a momma and a nana, and I could not imagine the stress that these folks here after the traumatic event that just happened with the flooding, I just had that on my heart to do something,” said Ellis.

Soon after, several organizations jumped on board. ARH, Brother’s Keepers Motorcycle Club, the city of Prestonsburg, local churches, and more.

“We don’t want anyone to think that they’re forgotten, especially around the holidays, and it’s been a tough year for all of these children and all of these families, so it’s really important that we’re here and show that we care,” said ARH Director of Community Development Danielle Harmon.

Families had the opportunity to have a Christmas meal, meet Santa, and receive some gifts for the holidays. Misty Hartschuh-Patton, her three-year-old son Cooper, and her family were one of many who were previously displaced and came to the event to enjoy themselves.

“It means everything. [Cooper’s] birthday is on the 20th and I mean, with moving into a new house and having to get all new stuff for the house, I didn’t know how I was gonna pull off Christmas or his birthday,” said Hartschuh-Patton. “I had no clue that they were gonna go so, I cannot believe it, it’s amazing. I’ve never been blessed so abundantly.”

Hartschuh-Patton also said she would like to thank everyone who was involved with the event as well as those who have helped flood victims the past four months.