Christmas party a chilly success in Clay County

Parents lined up overnight to ensure their child a gift


ORANGE PARK, Fla. – More than a thousand parents in Clay County braved the bitter cold Friday night to wait in line to make their children’s Christmas a little bit brighter.

The doors to the Clay County Christmas Party opened at 8 a.m. Saturday for organizers to give away thousands of toys to needy families. Some lined up as early 6 p.m. Friday to wait through the night cold for the party.

JP Hall Charities Children’s Christmas party is in its 33rd year in Clay County. An event organizers say local families desperately need.

“It just fills you with so much joy to help so many people,” said Virginia Hall, one of the event organizers. ‘Each child gets a bag of three toys based on their age and gender.”

Dana Jude a parent says the presents she gets Saturday may be the only ones underneath the tree this year.

“It’s so expensive when you have three kids to buy for, it helps out a bit actually,” Jude said.

When the doors opened up, the children were given the opportunity to get their hands on a brand new toy, and clothing for the entire family. 

Ashley Huskission said each time she comes to the Children’s Christmas party, her kids leave with something they cherish, which takes some of the holiday pressure off of her.

“It takes so much stress off me, you have no idea, and we are so happy that people are here to help us,” said Huskission. “It actually helps a lot, this wasn’t a good year, I just started back working and it helps me with my kids.”

Whether it was posing for a picture, or picking out a new bike, it’s the children that walked away with big smiles because of the generosity of the JP Hall charity that continues to demonstrate what the season is all about - giving.  

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