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Christmas giveaway serves thousands

The Christmas Giveaway started 16 years ago out of one pastor's trunk in Georgia and now serves thousands of people throughout the southeast.

Praise Ministries International travels to a different rural area every year.

'Tis the season to be jolly! But for some families, they do not have much to smile about this time of year.

That is why hundreds of volunteers gave Christmas away in Barbourville.

"The need as we can see is just tremendous. And the access that's been granted to so many people by providing them a Christmas blessing like this is just out of this world," said Pastor Mark Gilbert, who lives in Corbin.

Nothing but happy faces filled the Knox County Middle School's gym.

"This is what it's all about at Christmas. It's helping the children and helping the elderly and coming together in one place and blessing the community," said Reverend Larry Woodson, who lives in Georgia and organizes this event every year.

Everything from clothes to Christmas turkeys to household cleaning supplies were available for every family who walked through those gym doors.

"A lot of the parents that come through tell us they wouldn't have Christmas for their children or even have Christmas dinner if it weren't for this event," said Cheryl Little, who is a volunteer from Georgia.

The families walked away with the Christmas goodies, but the volunteers say they are the luckiest.

"We came to be a blessing, but we were the ones blessed by this," said Little.

And everyone agrees that an early Christmas is better than no Christmas at all.

Volunteers traveled from six different states to meet the needs of thousands of Eastern Kentuckians this Christmas season.


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