Joy to the Children
Submitted by Loyd Pakradooni
February 3, 2021
The year 2020 came to a close on a good note for 197 economically disadvantaged kids from 80 families in the Nassau County community. Santa did find his way to each of them for Christmas! And we at Joy to the Children were glad to assist.
After 25 years of hosting a Christmas Day celebration including Christmas dinner and gifts of clothing, bedding, books, school supplies, hygiene products and toys, Covid made us change our ways. We couldn’t safely congregate at the Yulee Middle School all under one roof for 4 or 5 hours; so we offered a Curbside Christmas instead.
With the help of our very generous community, we were able to see to it that all of the above-mentioned gifts were still available for each child, along with fresh fruit and essential food items with which families could prepare dinner. It took a lot of careful planning to make this transition, and a lot of help, for which we at Joy are most thankful!
With Journey Church offering us the use of their facilities, we had a home base. Many of our local restaurants once again pitched in with prepared foods to complement what we received through a very successful Food Drive.
Donations this year topped previous years by a large margin, and we were blessed with an abundance of Volunteers to help with everything from clothing and toy shopping to driving gifts to homes of people who couldn’t make it to Curbside Christmas.
The guests who did come, drove alongside our seven tents and left with cars and trucks overflowing with bags of food and gifts.
It was a joyful, heartening occasion for all involved, and we at Joy to the Children are most grateful to everyone who helped make it happen.
Please visit our Facebook website to see what it was like to be there, and to scan through our Thank You list – it goes on for pages!