Two Decades of Extending Hope

Mission of Hope TREEMission of Hope Brings Christmas to Needy Kids in Appalachia

This season marks the 21st year of Mission of Hope’s Christmas Campaign that serves students and their families in the poorest counties in Appalachia, more than half of which are in Kentucky.

MOH, a Knoxville-based Christian charity, serves more than 18,000 students at 28 schools where nearly all of the students receive free or reduced lunch.

MOH’s mission, says Executive Director Emmette Thompson, is like a tree with seven branches: Back to School, Healthcare, Day-to-Day Resource Distribution, College Scholarships, Construction, Evangelism and the Christmas Crusade.

At Christmas, MOH volunteers from more than 40 Churches, including NorthEast Christian Church in Lexington, Versailles Baptist Church and Central Baptist in Paris, set up a “toy store” in each of the school gyms.

As students and faculty gather round the “store,” which is hidden by a plastic covering, volunteers conduct a brief evangelical program before they pull back the plastic – and the faces of grateful children light up like Christmas trees.

“It’s magical,” Thompson said. “I can’t tell you all that I’ve seen since I’ve been with this ministry. It’s humbled me in a way nothing else could.”

People in Central Kentucky can help spread the Hope by dropping off new toys, new clothing, non-perishable food and hygiene products in the MOH Big Blue Barrels Friday, Nov. 18-Monday, Dec. 5.

Folks also can make tax-deductible donations.

“The time has long since passed where the Big Blue Barrel collections fill all of our needs for children,” Thompson said.

“That’s why your financial donations are more critical than ever before. We want the children of Appalachia to have a better life and a better future.”

To provide for the children of Appalachia, Mission of Hope counts on donations from people like you.

Big Blue Barrels for the Christmas Campaign can be found in the following Central Kentucky locations Nov. 18-Dec. 5.

Lexington Family Magazine, Chick-fil-A locations, Curves locations, Kids Place, the Explorium, Lexington Children’s Theatre, Monkey Joe’s, and Collins Bowling Centers at Southland and Eastland.

Toy Suggestions (Suggested $15 value and above)
Action Figure Sets • Doll Playsets • Electronic Games • Remote Control Vehicles • Sporting Goods • Watches & Jewelery • Fishing Rods • Plus: Gifts for Children 10-14 years old

Food Suggestions (Non-perishable food items only. New and unopened items only. Please: No glass containers, No microwavable items)
Tuna 6-7 oz. • Soup 10.5 oz. • Fruit 16 oz. • Canned Vegetables 16 oz. • Stew, Chili, etc. 18 oz. • Macaroni & Cheese 7.5 oz. • Oatmeal 18 oz. • Peanut Butter 18 oz. • Dried Beans 2 lb. • Rice 2 lb.

Clothing Suggestions (Children: Kindergarten-8th Grade)
Warm Winter Coats • Jeans, Shirts & Blouses • Socks & Underwear • Hats & Gloves

Hygiene Suggestions (Full Size Products Please)
Toothbrushes • Toothpaste • Soap Bars • 2-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner