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'Nevada hero' sees need 'double' since Thanksgiving, sets new goal for Christmas deliveries

These are some of the toys Julie and Jim Danner have been able to collect for children in need this Christmas amid COVID-19
These are some of the toys Julie and Jim Danner have been able to collect for children in need for Christmas amid COVID-19
These are some of the toys Julie and Jim Danner have been able to collect for children in need for Christmas amid COVID-19
Posted at 9:46 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 08:46:05-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Former Nevada Hero of the Day, Julie Danner, is on a new mission to provide food and Christmas presents to people in need even putting her own needs on hold to make it happen.

Now Julie and Jim Danner's home is beginning to look like Santa's workshop with toys and books starting to pile up.

"Now for Christmas, we have over 300 families that need help with toys which is adding up to almost 1,000 kids," explained Julie Danner.

Just weeks ago, 13 Action News caught up with Julie as she was rushing to provide about 150 families, or about 1,000 people, with turkey dinners with all of the trimmings for Thanksgiving.

Since then, the needs have multiplied.

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"Taking care of the kids' needs have tripled, taking care of the families and their food needs have doubled, and this is all in less than a month.

Danner's Facebook group, The Las Vegas Henderson Coronavirus Community Rescue and Barter has grown to about 4,200 hundred members which represents an increase of almost 1,000 new people since November.

The grassroots effort helps connect people with items or services they need or can contribute to others.

The Danners believe the increase is a sign that the economic picture for some families in Southern Nevada is getting worse.

"What you're seeing right now our families that have held out for nine months and now, for the first time, are saying 'wow, OK, now what do I do?" said Jim Danner.

"There are more people reaching out for help now," added Danner.

Now with just days left until Christmas, Julie is hopeful she will be able to collect the remaining 2,500 toys she needs and secure enough Christmas hams to make sure no one on her growing list goes hungry.

"We still actually have a lot of things coming in and a lot of people helping to wrap presents, and stepping up to help with deliveries, a lot of good is going on for sure," added Danner.

Julie was recognized by Gov. Steve Sisolak in April as Nevada's first Hero of the Day and nearly 10 months since the pandemic began to ramp up, her work is not done.

Danner says she has not and will not turn away anyone who is in true need.

She says those who wish to contact her to either provide items or can help her in her mission can contact her through her Facebook group.

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