Children of the second poorest families in the nation, live right in our own backyard in Owsley County. That's why volunteers visited Owsley County Elementary School for the first time Friday. They also stopped by a nearby school in Breathitt County both, with a big surprise.
Letters to Santa are usually packed full of wishes for the hottest toys and the best games. You can learn a lot from a child's words to Mr. Claus and sometimes it's something you wish you had already known.
"We had this one boy ask Santa for a pillow and a bed," Principal Robert Stewart.
Those are the wishes heartbreaks are made of, but they're not uncommon in counties like Breathitt or Owsley County where on any given day, 100% of students may be on free or reduced lunches at school. But for a moment, the Mission of Hope arrived in those counties to help children turn a stressful holiday season into pure joy.
Before ever getting a gift, some kids were already saying thanks.
75 percent of the counties Mission of Hope brings Christmas to are in Kentucky. Yet some Kentuckians, like Jill Travis are volunteering for the first time.
"We need to get in here and help out our neighbors. More Kentuckians need to donate and volunteer. What more could you want for Christmas," Travis said.
For more information on how you can get involved with Mission of Hope, you can log onto to their website http://www.missionofhope.org.