Community to help bring ‘Christmas for Tennessee’

Published 12:58 am Wednesday, December 7, 2016

In the aftermath of the fires that recently devastated parts of the city of Gatlinburg, Tennessee and surrounding areas, a local citizen is partnering with businesses in Butler and Covington counties to make this a happier holiday for those whose homes and businesses were lost.

“I just had to take toys to Gatlinburg,” says Butler County resident Vesta Taylor of Vesta Taylor Interiors of Andalusia. “We recently got back from vacation up there and I know so many other people have enjoyed trips to that part of the country. The need to help those families really hit home with me with it being so close to Christmas.”

Taylor is requesting donations of new unwrapped toys and coats, which will be delivered via Sheri and Jimmy Jones’ festively decorated cattle trailer to Gatlinburg later this month.

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“We are looking for coats and jackets in newborn through young teen sizes, and toys, games and stuffed animals for kids through elementary school age,” says Taylor. Donations can be made in Butler County at two locations, downtown at First Realty of Greenville and Clayton Homes on the Greenville By-Pass. Additional drop-off points in Covington County include the Andalusia Chamber of Commerce, Vesta Taylor Interiors, Andalusia Garden Center and the Grand Salon of Andalusia. Deadline for donations is Monday, Dec. 19. The loaded trailer brightened with the decorator’s special touches will be heading north on Dec. 21.

“The Jones’ truck is a bright Christmas red, and with the wreaths and bows we will be using to decorate that trailer, it is going to look like Santa is coming to town,” says Taylor with a smile.

“I am tickled to death to be able to do this, and I am just praying that people will give to this project. I was talking with someone at the chamber of commerce in Sevierville and she started crying. She said she felt so overwhelmed to know people wanted to help from this far away.”

Taylor says area businesses and church groups, along with families and individuals, are welcome to be partners in the effort to bring comfort and joy to those Tennessee families in need.

For more information about “Christmas for Tennessee,” contact Vesta Taylor at 334-437-2044 or via email at