Semitrailer full of donations delivered to Cairo, IL - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Semitrailer full of donations delivered to Cairo, IL

CAIRO, IL (KFVS) -

Christmas cheer comes from up north, but for families in Cairo, Illinois they don't need to look to the North Pole for all of their holiday help.

Volunteers and students in Chester, Illinois, have supported "Care for Cairo."

It’s a program where they collect food, toys and winter clothes to be delivered to less fortunate neighbors to their south this holiday season.

This year there was so much to be a delivered, a semitrailer had to be called in to get the job done.

It was neighbor helping neighbor outside Cairo's Daystar Community Program on Monday morning.

Box after box passed along from one volunteer to the other filled with things to brighten someone’s holiday.

"It is really beyond your dreams. We never anticipated getting to this level that we would need a semi,” said Christopher DeWitt with Chester, Ill. Walmart.

More than 5,000 toys were collected from Chester, Ill. schools and donors, which will soon be in the hands of kids who might not otherwise have a present to open on Christmas.

"Probably 500 families if not more. If the need is there we will pull it from somewhere,” said the program's director, Sherry Miller.

The community program also stocked bare shelves with can goods and other food items.

Millers said since Cairo's last remaining grocery store closed, the need has never been greater.

"Twenty families a day at least. Sometimes thirty or forty,” she said.

"The community stepped up and knew the need was here and they wanted to make a difference,” said DeWitt.

The deed made a difference, not only to the lives of those on the receiving end, but in those who helped.

"It really hit us with how real it is that they don't have very much,” said Jody Brown.

"It was really eye opener for a lot of students just to see how much of a need Cairo really does need,” said Makayla DeWitt.

This is the third year the residents of Chester have helped their neighbors down south.

It all started when the director saw that the need was too great to handle alone.

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