'Santa's Helpers' for Marlow's Christmas for the Needy already gearing up

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

“Marlow's Christmas for the Needy” has been going on for more than three decades in different locations. They give out furniture, clothes, food and toys to any family in need at Christmas.

Marlow Tackett, the founder, said he just wanted to share the experience his family gave him as a child during the holidays as a child.

“Our Christmas was filled with love and I try to do that I try to work that in here everywhere I can,” said Tackett.

Tackett cannot do it alone. He said this year's event on December 18th will take lots of people coming together. He said the event is planned year round. He said the event is all thanks to the kindness and time given by volunteers.

“Volunteers that's a wonderful word,” said Tackett.

The volunteers said that they get something out of lending a hand too.

“It brings me happiness to bring stuff for the kids for Christmas,” said volunteer Aaliyah Price.
“People that do not have any money can get stuff for their kids,” said Price.

She said it is something she looks forward to every year.

“Knowing that they are not going to go hungry, knowing if we can put anything in their house a bed, a couch to sit on or maybe even a TV to watch,” said Pearl Little, who has been volunteering for the program ever since it started 33 years ago.

“It helps families have some nice things for Christmas,” said Zelma Forbes, who has been volunteering for several years.
“It gives us a chance to recycle things we need to be conservative in our resources.”

Some who just started volunteering said they are already enjoying it.

“I am not working anymore and I had some free time and I thought I would come help fold clothes or whatever they need me to do,” said Dana Sturgill, a first time volunteer.

Sturgill said she heard about the program on the radio and thought it would be a great way to give back to the community during her down time.

“It's a blessing to help the needy at Christmas and all the little kids,” said Victoria Tackett.

The families who come in are on an honesty system. They do not have to provide any kind of documentation to get the assistance. Families merely show up and can enjoy the event, food, music and gifts. Tackett said they are always looking for "Santa's helpers" in the workshop.

“It will bring a joy to your heart I promise you know because this is what Christmas is about,” said Little.

Anyone interested in donating or volunteering should stop by the old Food World in Whitesburg or call 606-633-9270.

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