VALLEY, Ala. (WRBL) – A young lad from the heart of East Alabama is offering a profound reminder of the true reason for the Christmas Season. Nine-year-old Ashton Core is selflessly forgoing his gifts so he can give to others in need.  

At the heart of this story is a family deeply rooted in their love for God and a commitment to service. Stephanie Core, Ashton’s mother, recalls the moment when her son shared his unique Christmas wish with her.

“He said, ‘Mama, I don’t want anything for Christmas this year,’ and I said OK because typically, he’s the kid with a front and back list. But a few days later, he came back to me and said, ‘I don’t want you to think I’m being dishonest. I do want something for Christmas, but not for me. I want to bless the homeless.”

Ashton, the founder of “Joy to the World,” explains his mission: “We bless the homeless, because God put it on my heart, and I wanted to help people who are less fortunate.”

Ashton posted a video on his mom’s Facebook, where he expressed his wish to help those in need and asked for support to make his dream come true. With his warm smile and genuine plea for help, Ashton touched the hearts of many in the community. Friends and family started donating, and the Core family sprang into action, dedicating every weekend in December to creating gift bags filled with blankets, hats, gloves, socks, snack bags, and toiletries. These were then distributed to the homeless in East Alabama and West Georgia.

Ashton’s gesture embodies the spirit of benevolence, reminiscent of the hands and feet of Jesus himself. In April, he continued his mission by making and sharing lunches with many of the people he had met during the Christmas season.

When asked about his message to those he helps, Ashton replied, “What do you want them to know? That God loves them.” His efforts extended warmth and compassion to 75 homeless individuals last year, and this year, he aspires to serve even more.

While the story of Ashton’s generosity shines brightly, it’s important to also shed light on the troubling statistics of homelessness in the Southeastern United States. In 2021, the region faced a daunting challenge, with an estimated 151,000 homeless individuals. This figure included 39% of families with children, reminding us that Ashton’s mission is more critical than ever.

You too can join their cause by becoming a sponsor or donor. To learn more about how you can support Ashton’s incredible initiative, contact Stephanie Core at

Let Ashton’s kindness inspire us all to create a warmer, more hopeful world, one act of compassion at a time.