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Sunday, May 1, 2016

There are angels among us

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Charles Cooksey and Holly Wyatt go over their list of kids who still need gifts under the tree. The two put out a message for help when the Senior Center Toys for tots program began running out of toys.
Charles Cooksey, Holly Wyatt and Cindy Allen are proof that angels walk among us here in Putnam County.

When Cooksey found out the Senior Center's Toys for Tots program was running out of toys less than a week ago, he went to Senior Director Jim Stevens and asked what could be done.

Cooksey, who had been volunteering at the center, knew there were still 45-60 kids who still needed toys under their trees. He talked to Wyatt who takes care of kids age 13 and older, then contacted WREB radio to ask for help.

"I've never been prouder of the people of Putnam County than I am right now. WREB was a godsend. They have helped us so much," said Cooksey.

The radio station didn't just put an ad on the radio, but did an interview with Cooksey and continued to advertise the need for donations.

One of their staff members even drove a bag of goodies to a family in Brazil who didn't have the gas to come and pick it up.

Within four days, they were able to put together toy bags for 37 kids, and they are still filling bags and will be until 3 p.m. today.

"Once the word got out donations began pouring in and they haven't stopped," he said.

Cooksey, who is disabled and suffers from several illnesses, laughs when his fellow workers at the Senior Center called him an angel.

"One with a broken wing," he chuckles. "God led me to this. I'm not extremely religious, but I am spiritual. The last two weeks God has given me what I needed to do this," he said.

He credits being able to provide the additional toys to the help provided by Wyatt and Allen. They have picked up donations from businesses and others, delivered items and paid for toys out of their own pockets.

Wyatt was instrumental in helping to bring back the Christmas Parade after a five-year hiatus. She is in charge of the Santa House and had donations from businesses to pass out to kids visiting Santa the evening of the parade.

"Businesses in this county have been so wonderful. We were able to give families a large pizza from Papa Murphy's, movie passes to Ashley Theater, bowling games from Alex Alleys and karate lessons for kids from the All American Karate Academy, and so many more I haven't even named," said Allen.

But, it's not just these volunteers who are angels. Some of the people who have asked for help also offer generosity of spirit.

"I have had so many people who have needed help with toys and clothes offer to volunteer here next year," said Cooksey.

He told a story about a young boy who came to the Center over three times in the last few days with toys he has cleaned up and donated. His mother also brought bags of toys.

Cooksey pulled out a Hot Wheels case that looked like new. Inside were the boy's ten favorite cars that he had offered to someone who needed a gift under the tree.

As of noon Tuesday, 396 kids had received bags filled with toys and clothes.

"If everyone who could give would just bring one toy a week throughout the year, we wouldn't have a crisis like this at Christmas time," said Cooksey.

"But any donation at any time works too," he adds. "I don't want there ever to be anyone who believes in Santa or the spirit of Santa not to have anything under the tree and a merry Christmas."

With people like Cooksey, Wyatt and Allen in Putnam County we have proof that angels walk among us here.

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That's amazing! The response from the radio sounds incredble, God bless those volunteers!

-- Posted by Xgamer on Wed, Dec 24, 2008, at 5:41 AM

Yes and they are watching you while you sleep!

-- Posted by 1stamendrights on Tue, Dec 30, 2008, at 6:56 AM

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