JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) -Christmas is days away, and a local panhandler is at it again this year, delivering gifts for boys and girls in need. This year, he’s helping some bigger kids have a happy holiday.
For years, “panhandler” Tom Barnes has stood on the street corners of Jonesboro collecting money and toys for the area’s neediest children.
This year was no exception.
The Fugarwe Tribe Motorcycle Club and the Jonesboro Optimist Club partnered with Barnes this year to collect and hand out gifts to close to 300 children and 80 nursing home residents this holiday season.
Barnes said last year’s success drove him and the groups to collect for the elderly this year.
“Giving each child four or five gifts or $50 to $80 or whatever it took for their toys. Some of them food, some of them clothes, caught up some of them on rent," Barnes said. "But it’s that season! That’s what we do!”
Patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s received stuffed animals, handmade sensory pads with different textures, and snacks.