BG families receive new Christmas ornaments to replace ones lost in Dec. tornado

Each of the bags has 12 different ornaments inside and included messages of hope from those that created them.
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 11:29 AM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The holiday season has begun and with Thanksgiving just a few days away, many people’s thoughts are also turning to Christmas.

But for some families in Bowling Green who were affected by December 2021 tornadoes, rebuilding after losing everything can be hard.

A little bit of that Christmas cheer came to Jennings Creek Elementary Monday morning as families who lost their Christmas tree ornaments in the December tornadoes received a surprise of their own.

Volunteers with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and representatives of Operation Christmas stopped by the school to present 50 families with packages of ornaments.

The Blevens were one of the families that received a bag of their very own newly crafted Christmas tree ornaments.

The ornaments were donated by “Ornaments for Christmas From Near and Far,” an organization that collects handmade ornaments from 32 different states and Japan. The ornaments are then given out to those who were affected by natural disasters, such as the December tornadoes.

Each of the bags has 12 different ornaments inside and included messages of hope from those that created them.

“Most people don’t realize when they’re cleaning up after a natural disaster, that they’ve lost things that are so precious to them, like their ornaments,” Laura Davis, the coordinator for Operation Christmas Ornaments said, “So when it comes to the holidays, and they’re ready to put their tree up, they remember there’s a loss again. And so we wanted to come together as the United States and as crafters and create some Christmas love for the people who have lost so much.”

Davis also spoke about some of the stories behind the ornaments her organization gives out.

“We had a gal who was living in a car at one time,” she said, “We had a blind lady that helped create ornaments. We had a school that got together and made ornaments. So these ornaments came from many different organizations and people.”

Sixth Grader Lillian Whitmore was part of one of the families that received a bag of the ornaments at Jennings Creek.

“Definitely have a lot of memories, especially the one that like we’re going they were the ornaments that we had were from people who had passed away and then they were gone,” she said, “So it’s like a fresh start.”

Fifty other packages of ornaments were also dropped off at the school and will be included in Thanksgiving food boxes for other students and their families who are still rebuilding.

If you want to learn more about Operation Christmas, visit their Facebook group.