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The Tree of Hope needs your help




A team of women from Whitesburg First Baptist Church served in the Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Processing Center in Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 26 through Nov. 30. The group worked alongside more than a thousand other volunteers to inspect and prepare gift-filled shoeboxes for shipment to needy children. The Southeast Kentucky Collection Site in Whitesburg donated 8,988 giftfi lled shoeboxes to Samaritan’s Purse. Pictured (left to right) are Roxie Smith, Beth Little, Jennifer Day, Lee Adams, Elisa Cook, Donna Fleming and Sharon Short.

A team of women from Whitesburg First Baptist Church served in the Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Processing Center in Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 26 through Nov. 30. The group worked alongside more than a thousand other volunteers to inspect and prepare gift-filled shoeboxes for shipment to needy children. The Southeast Kentucky Collection Site in Whitesburg donated 8,988 giftfi lled shoeboxes to Samaritan’s Purse. Pictured (left to right) are Roxie Smith, Beth Little, Jennifer Day, Lee Adams, Elisa Cook, Donna Fleming and Sharon Short.

Help is still needed with the Tree of Hope program in Letcher County.

“I need any and all help, even if someone could buy just one item or if a group of people could go in and buy gifts for a child,” said Tiffanie Combs Brewer, who is organizing the program.

Brewer said presents are still needed for at least 10 to 15 children. Organizers would like for participants to spent at least $45 on a child and buy at a minimum a new shirt, pants, coat, shoes and a toy.

Names are recommended to the Tree of Hope organizers from social services, Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYCS), Esta Craft Conway Center, Kentucky River Community Care (KRCC) and the Letcher County Health Department. Individuals also call Brewer to receive items.

Last year about 500 children in Letcher County received gifts from the Tree of Hope program. Even though Brewer estimated that about the same number of children will receive gifts as did last year, she said she has turned down adding about 100 names.

“We try to make sure they are the poorest and the neediest in Letcher County,” said Brewer.

She has created income guidelines and rules to go by, and said she would like to help as many children as possible.

Brewer said fewer people have jobs and more people are asking for assistance.

“Times are just getting harder,” said Brewer. “The economy has just went from bad to worse.”

Presents are to be dropped off from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Dec. 6 and from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Dec. 10 at the second floor of the Letcher County Health Department in Whitesburg.

Those helping with the Tree of Hope this year include Rhonda and Barry Combs, Alice Caudill, Sandy Holbrook, and Angel and Lisa Burke.

To help with the Tree of Hope, call Brewer at 606- 335-2976 or Alice Caudill at 606-335-2931.


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