The Staffordsville-based Hands and Feet Ministry works year-round to help fill the needs of local schools’ youth service centers, but twice a year, they are able to put on a special all-day event for the kids themselves. 

At Saturday’s Winter Joyfest, the third of its kind, children from every elementary school in Johnson County, including Paintsville Independent, were able to visit the activity center at the Staffordsville Freewill Baptist Church and leave with a load of goodies, including food and snacks, clothes, winter weather gear, hygiene items, new pillows, clothes and of course new socks and shoes. 

“So many people want to help, but they don’t know how,” Shauna Patton with Johnson County schools said. “By having an organization like Hands and Feet Ministries, it helps others to have a program they can latch onto to help.”

The ministry’s approach to helping, which involves regular communication with the service centers’ needs, is the critical part of what makes their efforts unique, Pastor Jim Price said.  

“You can throw money at the problem and it doesn’t really get fixed,” Price said. “But when you have the information at hand in detailed form, it gives us the desire, and at events like this, we’re extremely blessed. We see the problem and it becomes real and apparent. I just praise God for these ladies.”

The event would not be possible without the donations and support of dozens of local groups including area churches, businesses and fellow nonprofits, director Berniece Cunagin said.

“First Corinthians 12 speaks as to how the body is not one member, but many. The body is many members, and it takes many people to come together,” Cunagin said. “We give all the glory to God.”

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