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Toys For Joy: Update

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky.-- A little before 11 a.m. this morning, two Anderson County buses rolled out of Lawrenceburg heading toward Lexington. This is the second such trip, both with the same mission: to deliver joy. In total, Anderson County students, parents, and community members have donated enough toys, clothing, toiletries, and other necessities to fill three buses from top to bottom, front to back, and underneath-- all to help our fellow Kentuckians left devastated after last weekend’s tornados. This overwhelming display of kindness is what happens when our community is given the call to action to come together to help those in need. Giving is at the heart of Anderson County.


The initiative began last weekend as the brainchild of Anderson County High School guidance counselor, Jerilyn Hanks. After seeing images of the storm’s destructive path in western Kentucky, she immediately thought of the children for whom Christmas this year will be a hard one. Some have lost loved ones, some their homes, and all of them their sense of normalcy. Hanks immediately contacted Sheila Mitchell, Superintendent of Anderson County Schools, with her plan. “When Jerilyn contacted me on Saturday to tell me about her plan,” Mitchell noted, “I was humbled, knowing how generous our students, families, staff, and community are. I knew there would be an outpouring of love.” 


And so the “Toys for Joy” donation drive was born. The response over the course of this past week has been inspiring, heartfelt, and truly representative of the giving spirit felt by those in our schools and community. That spirit of kindness is what prompted students this past week to bring toys and clothing to their classrooms. It is what inspired some parents to fill 40-gallon Rubbermaid totes with new toys and others to wrap their gifts so western Kentucky parents, busy trying to piece their world back together, would have one less thing to worry about. It even motivated those at Robert B. Turner Elementary to generously donate $4000.  


Happily, Anderson County is joined by other communities who realize that working together can aid the healing process. In fact, Shelby County Superintendent Sally Sugg contacted Superintendent Mitchell with a challenge to see who could get more toys donated.  Impressively, Anderson County responded to that challenge with over 1,000 toys. 


The donations from Anderson County, along with other local donations, will be taken in a semi from Lexington to western Kentucky on Monday, December 20, 2021. Superintendent Mitchell spoke with the Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative (CKEC) to make those arrangements in order to streamline the process of swiftly getting the donations into the hands of those who most desperately need them. 


It is an honor to unite with fellow superintendents and their students, staff, and communities to help our fellow Kentuckians during this devastating time.  I had no doubt Anderson County would give generously to help the children and families who so desperately need our support.  Toys for Joy is one small way we can help them through this difficult time,” Mitchell stated.


The title of the project, “Toys for Joy,” is a fitting one. As an emotion, joy is often infused with comfort, which is what the people of western Kentucky need now more than ever. And, when called to act on comfort and compassion, one thing is certain: Anderson County delivers

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Anderson County Schools    1160 Bypass North    Lawrenceburg, KY 40342    502-839-3406
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The Anderson County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities and provides equal access to designated youth groups. Inquiries may be directed to the Anderson County Title IX Coordinator, Travis Harley. He may be contacted at the district office, located at 1160 Bypass N. Lawrenceburg, KY 40342; by phone at 502-839-3406 or by email at [email protected]
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