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Christmas is a time for giving, for sharing love and spending the holidays with those who matter most to us.
Several citizens, groups and businesses in the Jefferson County community understood that the magic of Christmas is at its best whenever it is shared amongst others.
Each year, the Jefferson Outreach for Youth (JOY) program hosts a toy drive throughout December in order to raise funds and toys for children in financially constrained families. The money that is raised, as well as the new, donated toys, are given to several local families on Christmas in order to share in the magic and spirit that fills the holiday season.
This year, the JOY program and its countless community sponsors, raised $4,000 in funds and donated 1,000 toys. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office additionally donated 19 new bicycles to go to local children on Christmas.
JOY reports that 130 children were able to wake up on Christmas morning to a gift of their own thanks to the donation and sponsoring of the community.
JOY extends an additional “thank you” to the organizations and businesses that served as collection sites for the 2019 toy drive: Altrusa Club, Aucilla Christian Academy, Capital City Bank, Carrie Ann & Company, Jefferson County School Board, Monticello News, Property Appraiser’s Office, Rotary Club, Sunoco, TMH-Monticello, The First Bank and Wacissa United Methodist Church.
In addition, JOY thanks those who volunteered during the toy drive: The Jefferson County 4-H Teen Council, Kiwanis Club, Aucilla Beta Club, Big Bend Pest Control, Ed Carraway, Sukie Chambers, Ron Cichon, Community Area Action Agency, Merry Ann Frisby, Rancho Grande, Angela Gray, Sally Kiser, John Lilly, Nikki Seaton, Sheriff Mac McNeill, Melissa Watson, Nancy Whitty and Richard and Mazie Glenn.