East Texans spreading the joy of Christmas

By Philippe Djegal - email

WHITEHOUSE, TX (KLTV) - The holidays for some less fortunate families can be a depressing time. Jobless mothers and fathers, means some kids won't have a Christmas, let alone a special holiday meal.

But, thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers, everyone in the city of Whitehouse will experience the joy of Christmas.

"If someone calls a church and they're in need, we try to be there for them," said Anthony Johnson, Tyler Metro Church.

"Unfortunately, in the world we live in, that's what Christmas has become, is just me me me," said Danny Copeland, coordinator of Project Joy. "When the reality is the example that was set before us by Christ was not what we can get - but, what can we give."

In the case of the more than 60 volunteers that showed up in Whitehouse this morning to box up care packages for the needy; giving trumped all.

"I came with all my friends and we just came to help some families that really need it," said Austin Carr, a volunteer.

Project Joy is an annual collection drive, organized by the Whitehouse Ministerial Alliance. Members from every church in Whitehouse are filling boxes up with canned food items and toys that will be delivered to more than 200 needy families next week, making sure everyone has a merry Christmas.

"The elementary school collected the canned foods that you see out here and then the middle school collected canned goods and money and the high school collects money as well to purchase the toys that will go along with the food items that we deliver," said Johnson.

"Christmas isn't all about you," said Patrick Weist, a volunteer. "It's about other people and how other families don't have stuff like you do."

"It brings me probably more joy to give to them this Christmas season and be the coordinator of this and help them, then any gift I get during christmas," said Copeland.

Most of the families receiving these packages, don't even know they're coming.

The delivery will be a complete surprise.

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