The Children’s Joy Foundation USA visited the Appalachian Mountains for the very first time last June 8, 2018. The children and their families in the Appalachian mountains are one of the most underprivileged communities in North America.
Living in the far-flung “hollows” in the valleys of Kentucky, most of them live below the poverty line. Most children and young people in this area barely finish high school. Those who have grown up and started their own families may have jobs but still, find it too difficult to sustain their basic needs.
Many of them depend on the food stamps that the government is distributing to the poor communities. They can use these food stamps to exchange for food in selected stores, but in order to do so, they need to travel a long way.
CJF USA decided to make the Appalachian community one of its beneficiaries this year to provide assistance to the underprivileged children and somehow bring the magic of love in their lives.
The program was held at Zoe, Kentucky which began with a prayer led by selected staff from the Appalachian Ministries followed by an opening remarks by Lisa Lacy Helterbrand, the Appalachian Ministries Director.
Afterward, the popcorn, cotton candy, cake, candy, chocolate, and other booths were opened for the children to enjoy. The all-time favorite pizza was also served.
After the meal, the kids gathered together to receive the gifts prepared for them. Each child’s face was marked with joy and awe as they excitedly opened their presents.
Before the program ended, Lisa Lacy Helterbrand gave her word of thanks to CJF USA, “I can recall that one of the kids said that we’ve never had a party like this. There were pizza, cotton candy, popcorn and others. It also helped them in a cross-cultural way. We appreciate it and I think it has brought a good change to all of us. Thank you so much!”
Andiria Tipton, one of the Appalachian Ministries beneficiaries also commented, “It was fun and the kids loved the cotton candy and the popcorn. I love the presents and the games. It was a really memorable experience.”