BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) — The holiday season has begun, and with Thanksgiving just days away, many people’s thoughts are also turning to Christmas.
But for some Bowling Green families who were impacted by the December 2021 tornadoes, rebuilding after losing everything can be difficult.
A bit of that Christmas cheer came to Jennings Creek Elementary School Monday morning as the children of a family who lost their Christmas tree ornaments in December’s tornadoes received their own surprise.
Volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and representatives from Operation Christmas stopped at the school to present the children of the Whitmore family with a bag containing their own newly decorated Christmas tree decorations. manufactured.
The ornaments were donated by “Ornaments for Christmas From Near and Far”, an organization that collects handmade ornaments from 32 different states and Japan. The ornaments are then distributed to those affected by natural disasters, such as the December tornadoes.
Each of the bags contains 12 different ornaments and contains messages of hope from those who created them.
“Most people don’t realize when they’re cleaning up after a natural disaster that they’ve lost things that are so precious to them, like their ornaments,” said Laura Davis, coordinator of Operation Christmas Ornaments, “So when the holidays come around, and they’re ready to plant their tree, they remember there’s still a loss. And so we wanted to come together as a United States and as artisans and create some Christmas love for those who have lost so much.
Davis also talked about some of the stories behind the ornaments her organization gives out.
“We had a girl who lived in a car at one point,” she said, “We had a blind lady who helped create ornaments. We had a school that got together and made ornaments. So these ornaments came from many different organizations and people.
Grade 6 student Lillian Whitmore was one of the families who received a bag of ornaments at Jennings Creek.
“I definitely have a lot of memories, especially the one that, as we go, was the ornaments we had of people who died and then they were gone,” she said. “So it’s like a fresh start.”
Another 50 ornament packs were also dropped off at the school and will be included in Thanksgiving food boxes for other students and their families who are still rebuilding.
If you want to know more about Operation Christmas, visit their Facebook group.
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