Because of the continued support from donors, sponsors, and partners, Christian Appalachian Project’s (CAP) Family Advocacy Program was able to provide holiday gifts, hams, and other needs to 471 families, including 1,003 children and 702 adults, through drive-thru Christmas distributions.
This was the second year for the drive-thru events because of the pandemic’s ongoing restrictions. In a normal year, the annual Christmas celebration hosted by CAP includes a church service and lunch for participants to fellowship and celebrate Christmas together followed by the distribution of gifts. Because of the pandemic, it has been hard for CAP staff to interact with our participants in person.
“We haven’t seen some of our families since last year’s distribution,” said Pat Griffith, manager of CAP’s Family Advocacy Program in Johnson, Martin, and Floyd Counties. “Some of our families are still taking precautions against the pandemic and are staying home. We are grateful for the support from our donors and partners who helped make this distribution possible to still be able to share the joy of Christmas with our families.”
Six teens who are a part of CAP’s Teen Leadership program, a component of CAP’s Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Program, helped decorate and assemble 216 Christmas goody bags for the drive-thru distribution for Johnson, Martin, and Floyd Counties. The bags were filled with bubbles, stickers, friendship bracelets, and sweet treats for children.
In Jackson County, Annie F. Downs, a New York Times best-selling author, podcast host, and speaker, volunteered alongside CAP staff to distribute Christmas gifts and hams to families in the drive-thru line.
“Annie is a friend of CAP, and we were excited to have her help with our Christmas distribution and meet the families we serve,” said Carolyn Lindsey, manager of CAP’s Family Advocacy Program in Rockcastle, Jackson, and McCreary Counties. “It has been another challenging year with the pandemic, in addition to the devastating floods that impacted Eastern Kentucky earlier this year. Through our programs and events like Christmas distribution, CAP continues to provide comfort and relief to our participants during a stressful time.”
During her trip to Kentucky, Downs distributed nearly 300 copies of her new children’s book, What Sounds Fun To You?, to the students at Sand Gap Elementary in Jackson County and the students at CAP’s Child and Family Development Center in Rockcastle County.
As part of a Giving Tuesday initiative, Downs’ publisher, Baker Publishing Group, committed to donate a copy of What Sounds Fun To You? to match each one purchased during a five-day period. Downs partnered with CAP to receive and distribute the donated books to children in Appalachia. Around 700 more copies of What Sounds Fun To You? donated through the initiative will be distributed through CAP’s YES programming.