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A giving heart

A giving heart

Holts Summit resident holds annual Christmas giveaway

December 15th, 2013 in News

With tears in her eyes, Susan Brown (right), of Fulton, hugs and thanks her friend Connie Cashion for all Cashion has done for Brown and her husband at the John C. Harris Community Center on Saturday during Cashion's annual Christmas giveaway. Cashion is a Holts Summit resident collects anything and everything low-income families may need and distributes those items from her vehicle throughout the year. Brown and her husband, Paul, have been homeless on-and-off for five years, Susan Brown said. She called Cashion her best friend and described her as amazing. In December, Cashion and her volunteers host an annual Christmas giveaway at the community center where anyone is welcome to take from her collection of kitchen items, toys, winter clothes and more.

Photo by Brittany Ruess

Connie Cashion of Holts Summit and her volunteers packed the John C. Harris Community Center in Fulton on Saturday with winter clothes, kitchen supplies, toys and much more - all for the taking.

Mounds of free items sat on 40 tables, waiting to be picked up by whoever needed it - no paperwork required. Those who may have had nothing to give at Christmas, left with mulitple trash bags worth of items.

Cashion holds giveaways monthly and carries items in her vehicle, which has become a free store to those in need. She said she travels to collect things throughout the year, even crawling through dusty attics to get what someone else needs. Whatever is leftover in her two storage units, vehicles or home at the end of the year is put into the mega Christmas giveaway.

Cashion said 545 people shopped at last year's Christmas giveaway. In a month, Cashion said she will assist 700 to 800 people. The crowd grows yearly, she added.

"Every year I add more tables," Cashion said.

Cashion's motivation is a memory from a time when her now adult children were young and she struggled with bills and paying for presents.

"I didn't want anyone else to feel the way I did," Cashion said.

For more of this story, pick up the Sunday, Dec. 15 issue of The Fulton Sun.