Pa. family showered with gifts

December 24, 1997

Pa. family showered with gifts


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - All that Tracy and James Pulley asked for was one present each for their 3- and 11/2-year-old sons so they would have something to open on Christmas Day.

But the community has made sure that the young Greencastle, Pa., couple and their two children, James IV and Matthew, will have a lot more than that.

The Pulleys' original request to members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church on South Church Street in Greencastle turned into an outpouring of support totaling hundreds of dollars worth of toys, clothes, food, a Christmas tree and other needs for the family.


"Greencastle is a wonderful little town. The people here reach out," said Susann Snyder, a member of the church's Social Ministry Committee.

Problems with family and other circumstances forced Tracy, 19, and James, 20, to move to Greencastle from Tennessee in November.

The family moved into a small second-floor apartment with Tracy's brother, Marcus Deree, 23, and have since lived without a stove, refrigerator, kitchen table and other basic necessities.

James works full time at Arby's restaurant in Greencastle. But with just one car, two small children to take care of and one on the way, Tracy said she's been unable to find a job.

Deree, who's going through a divorce, said it's hard for him to provide any more than the apartment for his sister and her family.

Once word got out about the needy family, donations and collections from church members and local businesses grew.

A call to the Big Kmart on Wayne Avenue in Chambersburg produced even more.

"If it wouldn't be for them, these children wouldn't be having much of a Christmas," Snyder said.

Nearly 150 store employees took up a collection that totaled almost $200.

Another $200 was taken from the store's community fund, which was spent on gift certificates, toys and clothes for the family. All the presents were wrapped for Christmas, said Joyce Gasper, co-chairman of the store's Good News Committee.

Every year at this time, the store tries to help out a needy family in the area, she said.

"It's a personal thing we do. It makes our Christmas," Gasper said.

Also on Christmas Day, a used refrigerator and stove will be delivered to the Pulleys' apartment, along with food to fill them.

A donated live Christmas tree has already been given to the family, which has modestly decorated it with a string of popcorn, colored lights, a paper chain and candy canes.

"They've helped a lot. We really do appreciate everything. The boys are really excited," Tracy Pulley said.

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