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It's Christmas In Crawford County For 700 Families - KOAM TV 7

It's Christmas In Crawford County For 700 Families

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     Through the efforts of Wesley House in Pittsburg...the Pittsburg Salvation Army...and our ToyBox Campaign...700 families are receiving a Christmas they never thought they could.
Volunteers un box the goods...
And prep their teams for the mass of people coming in for an early Christmas.
Frances Mitchelson, The Salvation Army: "They were like 'wow, we had no idea we were going to get so much, we've never had to do anything like this before, but this year times are a little bit harder, and so thank you so much for helping our family."
The effort is combined with the Wesley House and Salvation Army -- the army, bringing the toys, the house, bringing in 
$25,500 for Christmas dinners.
Marcee Binder, The Wesley House: "We're showing love to our neighbors, and this may be the only love that they get, and what better time than Christmas time, to make this happen."
The crowd starts to roll in...
...and orders are called out.
One of those receiving help this holiday season, Valerie Edwards.
She and her two children, getting a Christmas, they may have never been able to have.
Valarie Edwards: "This helps so much to make the memories even better, and seeing their faces light up with the Christmas presents, and they get so excited playing with all these toys, it's, I want this Christmas to be so special."
Valerie walked with two volunteers as they helped her pick the perfect gifts for her children to open on Christmas day.
Edwards: "I use to think it was fun opening presents on Christmas, and i think it's even better seeing them open them on Christmas, just the joy it brings to their faces is just...so much better than the joy it would bring to mine when I was opening them as a kid."
As for Valerie being able to make this Christmas story come true...
Edwards: "It's literally like...warmth, overcoming you and you just feel so happy, and...it's really hard to explain, it's amazing though."
The volunteers load the 'memories to be' in her car...
And she drives off, to make sure Santa, comes to her house this Christmas.
     Officials tell us this is the 7th year they've joined forces to help make Christmas possible for families in Crawford County.
 

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Chris Warner
Reporter

A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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