Despite the cold of Saturday morning, there was an underlying warmth in the air.
Volunteers with the Caryville Civil War Council (CCWC) were busy spreading Christmas cheer. The council’s yearlong efforts meant many people who otherwise would not have Christmas now could.
Early Saturday morning the group began handing out toys and food baskets.
“We have watched some of the kids grow up,” CCWC founding member Larry Collier said.
Each year the CCWC provides Christmas for needy people in the area. And while Collier said the efforts can become tiresome, he and the others never grow tired of it. “At the end of the day you just look back and see what a blessing it is,” he said. “Then you take a break and get ready for next year.”
As he and council member David Wormsley worked the event they reflected on the endeavor. This quickly turned to thanking everyone involved.
“We just want everyone to know how much we appreciate the individuals and the community who support us,” Collier said.
This included the staff at Lyk- Nu Body Shop.
“They asked to work with us,” Collier said adding the two groups have already decided to work together next year.
“We wanted to do something that would stay in this community,” said Phillip McCulley, one of the shop’s four owners in an earlier interview.
Not only did the shop serve as a drop off point for gifts and donations, it assisted in the gathering of additional gifts such as bicycles.
But one family’s story touched the hearts of those involved a little more than the others did.
An elderly woman raising her grandchildren reached out to the group. When she talked to Collier about her grandchildren, she mentioned the family’s lack of a stove. “She was cooking only using a two eyed hot plate,” Collier said. The group pulled together finding the funds to purchase a stove for the family.
“It is all about helping those in need during the holiday season,” Collier said.