GODFREY - Taylor and Lily Freer are poised to be future leaders and two that look out for the needs of others.
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Eleven years ago, the Cookies and Cocoa event was established for Community Christmas in memory of the late David Freer, and since that time the two girls have grown the event and the summer Christmas in July event into huge catalysts for the holiday campaign to support the impoverished.
The recent Cookies and Cocoa event on Nov. 29 collected $2,600 in cash, plus tons of toys, coats, and bikes for Community Christmas. The Christmas in July event this past summer raised $40,900 for Community Christmas.
Taylor and Lily's giving nature comes naturally through her parents and grandma and grandpa. Margaret Freer, the girls' grandmother, said the recent Cookies and Cocoa event was a very successful night.
"There will be a lot of happy kids on Christmas morning," she said. "I cannot thank the community enough for always supporting us and helping make a difference. We are blessed in so many ways and we are grateful we can help others."
Today, Community Christmas items are being sorted for their final destinations at various charities. Riverbender.com is on the scene for the sorting and will have a later story and photos.
Margaret Freer said the need is even greater this year around the region.
"Lots of kids would not have Christmas if it were not for the giving people in our community," she said.
Teens are the hardest category for Community Christmas, she said, but she added: "We want to make sure every child in our area has a nice Christmas. While some of us have tragedy, grief, challenges and other things in our lives if we count our blessing we will realize we are truly blessed. It is with this in mind I encourage everyone to pay it forward. Help someone in need. You do not know until you have walked a mile in someone else's shoes what they face on a daily basis. Let’s make sure there is a smile on every child’s face this Christmas. Thank you for all you do and for helping to make our community a better place. May there be peace on earth."
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