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‘Merry & Joy’: Positively JAX series with firefighters & law enforcement makes final delivery

Goal is to help local families while inspiring others to pay it forward

CALLAHAN, Fla. – The final delivery in our Positively JAX series “Merry & Joy” takes us to a family of seven.

Mary Baer and Joy Purdy have been surprising local families just in time for the holidays, delivering homegrown fruits, vegetables and turkeys provided by an anonymous donor, along with generous monetary gifts from local law enforcement and firefighters.

Our goal is to help local families while inspiring others to pay it forward. And when we surprised Layla Kline and her five children in Callahan, she said it has her wanting to bless others in the same way.

All of Kline’s children, who are age 12 and younger, are homeschooled. While dad is at work, it’s a full day for mom as she looks for innovative ways for her children to learn.

“It’s tough, but every year, I learn more as a teacher and a parent, and they learn more as being good students, and we just — we, we piece it together,” she said.

We surprised Layla Kline and her five children in Callahan. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

So when Kline saw the gift of a turkey and homegrown veggies and fruit we brought her, she was thankful and inspired.

“And that’s what I hope to do too with my little helpers. We’ll continue on our gardening education,” she said.

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Then the final gift surprised Kline and her children: $400 from the Fraternal Order of Police.

“That’s very exciting. That’s so kind. Thank you!” Kline said.

The gifts have Kline thinking of ways she and her family can be a blessing for others.

“Maybe we can do that as well in our own community, is be inspired and pay this forward to our other neighbors,” she said.

Kline says her oldest son, 12-year-old Luke, has done some gardening before, so between the two of them, they’re going to try to grow fresh food for neighbors who could use it.

If you missed any of our “Merry & Joy” surprises, you can catch them on our Positively JAX page or by visiting the links above. If they inspired you to pay it forward, we want to hear from you — email MBaer@wjxt.com and JPurdy@wjxt.com.


About the Authors:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.

At WJXT for a quarter of a century, Mary Baer anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news weekdays.