Residents reach out to needy in community

Photo provided

Sean Johnson Jr., of Hopkinsville (left) gives away food and clothes during an outreach he organized to help local needy folks.

Early last week Sean Johnson Jr., saw a woman crying outside the Salvation Army. The woman told Johnson that she was going through a difficult time and needed help.

"That just hurt my heart," Johnson said. "(I thought), 'man, I got to do something.' "

A Hopkinsville resident, Johnson gathered his resources and did exactly that. With donations from local restaurants and assisted by three other people, he set up at Peace Park off East Ninth Street and began distributing food and giving away hats, coats, hoodies and gloves to those in need.

Johnson served up coffee, cheeseburgers and pizza, insisting that the hundred or so people who came by ate before they got their clothes. Walmart donated a gift card toward his efforts, and Sonic along with McDonald's on North Drive helped with donations of food.

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Johnson bought everything else, and a few people helped him gather all the items, he said. Johnson was assisted by Chris Moses, Chriss Mikiala and Deericka White, all of Hopkinsville.

He noted that he placed a post on Facebook asking for help; he didn't know "how to go about it," Johnson said, and folks who saw his post helped him to organize the event.

Some seeing his outreach efforts as they drove by on the street even came back and dropped off items they had bought.

"I feel good about it," Johnson noted of his efforts. "I think I influenced other people."

He's been told he needs to host another event and has plans to set up again in the park.

The location, with its proximity to Ninth Street, will give him visibility, Johnson said.

He noted that the area has some of the busiest streets in the local community.

Johnson said anyone interested in his plans for another event can find details on Facebook.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

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