COPPERAS COVE — They say Christmas is for children. The Myrick family is spending Christmas with two children they did not plan for.

The Myricks recently agreed to serve as guardians for two toddlers, ages 20 months and 4 years, who were put into foster care system through Child Protective Services.

“We just got these two children and no one is helping us with them,” said William Myrick, 45, of Harker Heights. “Today, we are going to be able to buy them some clothing, a couple of toys, and lots of diapers.”

The Myricks were one of 20 families that the Star Group-Veterans Helping Veterans took each on a $250 shopping spree Thursday to ensure their needs were met.

The families were not allowed to purchase alcohol, tobacco or firearms with the money and VHV kept the receipts so the purchased items could not be exchanged for cash, said Jonathan Haywood, VHV executive director.

“You never have enough money to feed everyone who needs it,” Haywood said. “We gave out 350 Thanksgiving meals. So, we do things a little differently for Christmas helping families through referrals from different organizations.”

Adrian Atkinson, of Copperas Cove, has five children. She lost her husband in combat and faced her own challenges this year.

But she chose to sponsor one family’s shopping spree through VHV.

“I know what its like not having things for my kids at Christmas,” Atkinson said. “They need this. I have the ability and I believe in paying it forward.”

Kelly Brown, of Killeen, had difficulty walking up to the store entrance but she was smiling. Brown had three major surgeries this year including a hysterectomy and spinal and shoulder surgery.

She has been out of work for a year and is still waiting on her disability check.

“The kids said they wanted to take the (Christmas) tree down because there are no presents to put underneath,” Brown said. “I told them that God would provide and to exercise their faith. I’ve had three major surgeries and I could’ve died. But, I made it.”

Many of the items on Brown’s shopping list were hygiene items.

“I have had to get donations just to pay my electric bill because I just have not had the money,” the three-time breast cancer survivor said. “But, we are making it work.And we are grateful for the kindness of others.”

Contact Wendy Sledd at or (254) 501-7476

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