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Christmas in July brings hope back to Bastrop

Monroe-El Dorado KNOE TV 8 logo Monroe-El Dorado KNOE TV 8 7/17/2021 LaShanda McCuin
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Families in Bastrop got the chance to shop for free on July 17. It was a part of the Inaugural Christmas in July event. The items at the event are meant to help heal the community.

Several devastating murders have happened in Bastrop, this year alone. Organizers say this event is a way to bring hope back to the community.

“I just started embracing people and telling them God bless you; we’re here with you, hold on stay strong,” said Paula Jones, New Morning Star “Go Get It” Outreach President.

The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana and New Morning Star “Go Get It Outreach” joined forces to bring Christmas in July.

“Amongst times that are stressful and challenging, we heard words that this has been a blessing. This has been a gift, thank you,” said LeAnn Bond, Children’s Coalition for NELA Executive Director.

Volunteers gave a lot of families free clothing, toys, toiletries, and much more. This event was established to address real people’s real needs. One of the children at the event, Emmanuel Thompson picked a book and started reading it. He says there’s something special about it, then he shared a few things inside his bag.

“I like the book because it has unicorns on it. In the bag I have pretzel and clothes,” he said.

Event volunteers worked to distribute donated clothes. They say some people in Morehouse Parish really need those professional and school outfits for this upcoming year.

“I got some uniforms for my babies and a book bag for her. I got some shampoo and stuff. They’re giving out bikes and toys, so it’s a good little function,” Gracelyn Jumper, a Bastrop community member said.

That’s just the type of positive impact organizers hoped to have. They want the goodness they’re sharing to spread across the community. Organizers say the event was such a success they want to hold it every two years.

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