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Boone County boy starts 'Operation KY Christmas' to collect toy donations for tornado victims

Operation KY Christmas toy drive
Posted at 11:03 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 13:53:39-05

BURLINGTON, Ky. — After witnessing the devastation in western Kentucky, one Boone County boy started a toy drive to help tornado victims.

While 12-year-old Gunnar Dearing said he does not know anyone who lives in western Kentucky, he said it does not matter.

"I saw all these people’s homes and stuff was destroyed — the first thing that came to my mind is that they weren’t going to have a Christmas," Dearing said.

Dearing and his mother started a Facebook page encouraging donations, Operation KY Christmas. The response was overwhelming, as Tri-State residents dropped off hundreds of toys to locations like the Boone County Sheriff's Office in hopes of making spirits bright.

His family has been in contact with the Mayfield Police Department to organize where and when the toys will be delivered. Dearing said he hopes the effort gives some semblance of a normal holiday season for kids impacted by the tornado.

"I just hope that everyone gets to have a smile on Christmas morning," Dearing said.

Two cars were filled to the brim with donations from people across the area Wednesday, and Dearing said they will continue to collect new toy donations through Tuesday, Dec. 21. His family plans to drive to Mayfield Dec. 23.

Anyone interested in donating can drop off toys at one of several locations in Kentucky and Ohio. More information can be found here.

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