Correctional center bringing Christmas to communities of East Tennessee

Published 1:14 pm Wednesday, December 16, 2020

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The Christmas spirit is alive and well at the Northeast Correctional Complex (NECX). Staff at the facility are working to share that spirit and spread joy throughout the communities of East Tennessee. Officers and staff at NECX have been working on numerous community-based projects aimed at ensuring some of the region’s most vulnerable citizens have a joyful holiday celebration.

A large donation of toys and children’s items was made to the Isaiah 117 House in Elizabethton. Isaiah 117 House provides physical and emotional support in a safe and loving environment for children awaiting foster care placement. Those items will be utilized to ensure children within the program will have gifts this Christmas. “Christmas can be a really tough time of year for many families, but especially children who have been displaced and/or are awaiting a family,” Lt. Brad Blair said. “Hopefully this will help bring them some joy and remind them to stay optimistic because they have not been forgotten.”

Other projects NECX staff are currently working on include “Project Santa Surprise” which aims to provide Christmas gifts such as winter coats and boots to four ‘angels’ in the Johnson County area.  Blankets, puzzles, activity books, and gift cards will also be donated to the Johnson County Nursing Home.

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“This is our community, these citizens are our neighbors, and we’re going to look out for them,” Warden Bert Boyd said.  “This time of year can be tough enough on its own, but after the year a lot of folks have had to endure, more than anything, we want to try and be a catalyst for hope.”