Volunteers set up annual Ronald McDonald House Christmas display

JOPLIN, Mo.–A trio of volunteers reunites to bring joy to local families.

“Eighteen years, that’ll be our eighteenth year.”

Stephanie Everitt is a part of the four states village people, a group of collectors that every year, sets up their Christmas village at the Ronald McDonald House in Joplin.

“We felt like this was something our our our club could do to bring some happiness to children and to families during the holidays,” said Everitt.

Over the past 12 years, they’ve collected the pieces to help create the perfect display to put everyone in the holiday spirit. She is joined by other longtime volunteers, like her husband Jim.

“We enjoy coming to bring some joy to the family and to the children that are here. Ronald McDonald House has been set up basically for a home away from home type thing,” he said.

The Ronald McDonald House is a place for families of sick children being treated at a local hospital to stay.

These volunteers, didn’t want these kids or their families to miss out on Christmas.

“Being in the Christmas spirit I guess you could say, and all the kids enjoyed, I was over here probably twenty years ago and some of the kids were here, and I’d visit with them.” said volunteer, Robert Griffith.

Although the village takes a little over an hour to set up, volunteers say it’s worth it to bring a smile to people’s faces.

“We feel that during the holidays is a special time that we can do something to bring a little bit of joy into the people that are facing hardships with health issues, as well as being a problem being away from home for the holidays,” Jim Everitt said.

The volunteers say they just want everyone in the community to have a merry Christmas, and that health issues or other hardships, shouldn’t interfere with that.