Annual Christmas Tradition Celebrates A 30 Year Anniversary

By: Heather Haley Email
By: Heather Haley Email

Christmas can be financially difficult for many families, but one eastern Kentucky man is trying to help those in need.

Marlow's Christmas For The Needy has been helping the less fortunate for 3 decades by supplying food, clothing, and toys to those who need it the most.

This year thousands of people turned out for the annual event.

The 2006 Marlow's Christmas For The Needy attracted it's largest crowd ever with nearly 5 thousand people.

"We just had tractor trailer load after load come in and so in 3 weeks we've got the biggest party we've ever had. We're celebrating 30 years of giving to the less fortunate in eastern Kentucky," Marlow Tackett said.

Marlow says many of the clothing and toy donations actually come from the needy families themselves. Many of the families will bring back the items they got the year before so another family can enjoy them.

"We got a lot of extra toys and clothes left over from one Christmas to the next. We always bring a load down right before Christmas," Frank Kendrick said.

The less fortunate can come in and load up boxes, bags, or even their arms with as much as they can take home for their family.

There are around 200 volunteers that assist Marlow with his large Christmas gathering, but volunteers say Marlow doesn't just help eastern Kentuckians. They say hundreds of people from all across the southern United States come out for the annual event.

"Everything that he's doing is great and it's really appreciated by the communities that he helps," Cliff McAllister said.

Many of the families that come to the Christmas For The Needy call Marlow Tackett their Santa Claus.

Marlow Tackett says he is still accepting donations because he is going to go to the homes of the less fortunate that weren't able to make it and help give them the Christmas they deserve.


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