TAMPA, Fla. - On Saturday, hundreds gathered for the annual Joy of Giving celebration event put on by WWE superstar Titus O’Neil as a way to get back to those in need. It was a day filled with gifts and fun, but events like these can change lives. Summer Johns knows firsthand that the gift of hope can go a long way.
"A few years ago we came out here, we were homeless and like I said no one knew our situation," said Johns.
It was at the Bullard Family Foundations Joy of Celebration event a few years back that Johns and her kids were showered with love, presents and a sense of community, giving the family a memorable Christmas even during some of their darkest days.
"When we came out here it was just like a breath of fresh air," said Johns. "It was just so much love, and it was a joy to my children. They still talk about it to this day."
On Saturday, hundreds of people experienced that same magic. Kids left with new toys and families left with a box of food for their dinner come Christmas Day.
"Today is what Christmas is all about. The joy of giving, the joy of giving back," said Sheriff Chad Chronister who was also in attendance for Saturday’s festivities.
Once again, Titus O’Neil and Metropolitan Ministries joined forces to create a memorable holiday for families in need. They kicked the morning off with a parade, a visit with Santa and a lot of gifts, including new cars for five special families.
"They are all deserving of it. There are some heartbreaking stories, but these cars will make a difference in these families' lives," said Tim Marks, CEO of Metropolitan Ministries.
But Johns said it’s the faces behind the event that truly make a difference.
"You never know how you can bless somebody’s life with just the littlest thing," said Johns.
It’s the difference she now hopes to make in other people’s lives as she’s seen how simple acts of kindness can go a long way.
"You might not be able to give them something grand, but the littlest thing might be the biggest thing in the world to them," said Johns.
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