Grand Rapids light show raises money for Project Noelle

Toy drive for Project Noelle
Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 12:49 AM EST
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GRAND RAPIDS, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s the season of giving, and on Sunday night, people came out to support children affected by the opioid epidemic.

A generous Grand Rapids family used their annual light show to collect toys for a local non-profit.

The “Lights on Milton” display in Grand Rapids grows every year. This year, more than 30,000 lights dance to the music. Every night, people offer to make donations to the family running the show. But they always refuse, instead asking people to pay it forward and donate to those in need. Sunday night, people were able to give on the spot to Project Noelle, a local non-profit.

“We help children that have been affected by the opioid epidemic. Their parents are using or have OD’ed, maybe they’re in prison or serving,” says Project Noelle’s Lucas & Wood County Coordinator, Patty Downing.

This year, Project Noelle has dedicated itself to putting gifts under the tree for more than 500 children in Lucas and Wood Counties.

“I like helping kids. Period. And these kids have lost so much. And they’re just so innocent and I just want to help them,” says Judy Willett, Downing’s assistant.

The family inside the home knows that their Christmas cheer lights up so many winter nights. They’re thrilled to help brighten hundreds of Christmas mornings, as well.

“We always encourage paying it forward and this is something that means a lot to me. I’ve lost family members to drug addiction. So I want to give back to the community and do something a little extra this year,” says Kelly Leake, who runs Lights on Milton with her husband.

You can still see the Lights on Milton show. Find more information on their Facebook page.

To make a donation to Project Noelle, visit their website.

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