The Kids Yule Love story goes back 31 years to a hot summer month in August of 1986. Joe Allen, a Macon Firefighter, who owned a Home Inspection Business was called to inspect a south Macon home for the Home Builders of Macon and the Realtors of Macon. It was the time of the year that they picked a home which needed a lot of repairs and the family did not have the funds for those repair.. That morning when the MTI Home Inspection team arrived, the owner of MTI had to explain, after the inspection, to the late Jane Rozette of the SSK Realty Company, that the home was not in a repairable condition. The inspection had found many holes in the floors, as well as the roof. There was also electrical wiring that was exposed which made it a very unsafe environment for the 4 toddlers,
as well as, Jody Cotton, his sister and Grandmother whom lived in the home. Mrs. Rozette decided to go the extra mile and purchase a home for the family a few blocks away. Jody, age 16, who had MD was in a wheel chair, his twin brother had died several months earlier from MD and his mother and father were both deceased. Joe had asked Jody that August day what they would have for Christmas that was four months away. He was told they do not get Christmas since his Grandmother's
only income came from working in a soup kitchen and she did not make much money. Joe left the inspection that day very distressed and wondering how to help.
The firefighter came up with the idea of making sure this family and others would get the help they needed for Christmas. He asked all the media from TV and radio to Cox Cable and the newspapers, Fire Department's, as well as, other business leaders to come to a meeting that he needed them to attend several weeks later. The first meeting was held at the old Sizzler on Riverside Drive next to WBML radio station. He told those that attended that he had an idea that might work to help those that were not on any other list for help from other agencies. He was so proud that so many people came. There were even agency's that attended the meeting that already gave assistance to others. The next meeting was held at the Sizzler in Warner Robins. Attending those meetings were many business leaders from Houston and Bibb county. The late Mr. Bill Boyd came up with the name for the program that is popular all over Georgia and some parts of the US. It was at those meetings that the program we know today as Kids Yule Love was born.
Joe also received additional assistance from the Macon Rescue Mission and the late Wayne Beville, who was director at that time, as well as, the late Bill Boyd who wrote for the Macon Telegraph. Bill had been very involved with Toys for Tots in Chicago early on in his life as a Marine. Also helping in making Kids Yule Love successful was councilman Ed Defore, as well as, the late Chairman of the Bibb County Commission, Mr. Emory Green and the Directors of the Department of Family and Children Services from Bibb and Houston counties as well as many others.
Joe also knew he needed the schools if this program was going to work. He went to Tattnall Square Academy and talked to Barney Hester and Ruby Jo Argo first, as well as, other schools in the area. Tattnall has been with Kids Yule Love for the entire 27 years of the program. Mary Persons High School in Forsyth is also very important to this program. They have supported us year after year.
That Christmas in 1986, Jody, his grandmother and the rest of his family not only had a home that they were safe in, but also had a wonderful Christmas due to all of the sponsors, schools, businesses and generous citizens of Middle Georgia. That Christmas was Jody’s last. God took him home right after Christmas in January of 1987. But he went to Heaven knowing that his family was safe and that his family and many others would always have a wonderful Christmas because of Kids Yule Love and other agency’s that help families like this every year. We love you Jody. You are our Kids Yule Love angel. Please don’t ever forget that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
Baskets of Joy
Baskets of Joy began eighteen years ago after we learned that most of the
children living in a local children’s home did not receive Easter baskets.
Many of these children had never experienced the joy of having an
Easter basket. Over the years our project has grown to include Georgia Industrial Home, Hephzibah Children’s Home, Masonic Children’s Home, The Elizabeth House, The Dove Center, The Safe House, Life Spring and foster homes in several local counties. With the help of family, friends, churches, organizations and businesses along with lots of prayer, Baskets of Joy has provided approximately 2,500 children with Easter baskets. Our love and dedication to Baskets of Joy is from the personal experience of growing
up in a children’s home and not having many childhood joys. This
project is very close to our hearts.
Next years goal is to provide over 375 baskets to children ages newborn to eighteen years. Each basket will contain a New Testament Bible or Bible
story book for younger children, stuffed animal, chocolate bunny, small
gifts and a treat. Most of all, each basket will show these children they are special and someone cares for them.
Your kindness and generosity in making a donation will make a big
difference in the life of a child and will be greatly appreciated. We assemble
the Easter Baskets and deliver them to the above mentioned facilities. If
you have any questions please call us at:
Thank you, Clay and Katie Jones
Directors of Basket of Joy