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An advocate from Arkansas organizes the biggest Christmas giveaway in Jefferson County, bringing along 80,000 pounds of groceries, bikes, and toys



Pine Bluff, Arkansas – One Jefferson County community advocate hopes to provide families in need a little more holiday cheer as Christmas Day approaches.

This was Deborah Allen’s sixth year organizing a Christmas giveaway for the First Ward Living Grace Pantry. This was the biggest giveaway in the area, she added, due to Sissy’s Log Cabin, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff athletic department, the Jefferson area Sheriff’s office, Saracen Casino, and many more donors.

“It’s priceless, oh my God, I couldn’t do nothing but cry, I couldn’t do nothing but cry,” Allen said.

Allen claims that she was able to offer 125 bikes, over 500 toys, and 80,000 pounds of supplies with those gifts. She mentioned how important it is to her to give back to the community over the holidays.

“We have items that you would go buy in the store to take to your own home, so that’s why they wait in line,” she said.

Locals from Jefferson County, including Lisa Sharkey, stood in line for five hours before the giveaway commenced. Sharkey referred to the things she had received as a blessing.

“You never know what a person is going through and it helps a lot,” Sharkey said. “Some people be on their last meal, some people ain’t had nothing to eat for a couple of days, so this helps a lot.”

Sharkey claimed that the joy on her three grandchildren’s cheeks justified standing in line.

“It makes me a happy grandma because my grandkids got toys for Christmas and they got bikes, so it makes me very happy,” she said.

Allen stated that she helps the community all year round and doesn’t just start her giveaway programs during the holidays. She noted that anyone can give her a call at 479-301-1096 if they would like to donate to the First Ward Living Grace Pantry.


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