Roane County outreach group asks for help replacing Christmas gifts

ROANE COUNTY (WATE) - Days away from Christmas, a community outreach group in Roane County hopes the public can help bring Christmas joy to local families. 

Even with 800 gifts donated, Jerry Wells, founder of Concerned Citizens of Roane County, says some gifts at a community Christmas party were taken. 

"Santa had asked me if he could get a couple gifts for his family. Sure, you can get a couple gifts," said Wells. 

Wells says the Santa at the party, as well as a few others, took gifts meant for families in need - more than they were told they could take. 

"It was quite a few toys, I can't say how much was in it. There was a lot missing. Not saying that they took that lot, there was a lot of people in that building anybody could've been taking stuff," said Wells. 

Now, Wells hopes the community will come through again. To replace the shortage of gifts, he hopes to replace the toys before Christmas morning. 

"Forgive and forget. If it was a mistake, good. If it wasn't, good. Go on. We learn from our mistakes. Next year, they won't have that opportunity," said Wells. 

WATE 6 On Your Side reached out to the family of the Santa who said Wells told them they could have some of the gifts. A spokesperson for the family says they went outside, where they asked someone working which gifts they can have. According to the spokesperson, the worker told them "whatever you want outside." They chose some gifts and loaded them into their vehicle.

Wells said this was the first time the outreach group held a party like this and that next year the party will be more organized.

Donations can be made by visiting the Concerned Citizens of Roane County Facebook page or by calling (865) 455-2118. 

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