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Youth group works to bring joy to officer's day one goodie bag at a time

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GREENVILLE, Pitt County - It's a mission by 28 children to brighten their own community. And they are doing it with paper bags.

A paper bag filled with goodies and the hope to brighten an officer's day. That is what Unity Free Will Baptist Church's youth group has been working on during their annual mission trip. "A church member here at Unity gave me a newspaper, I think it was in Greene County, of a church -- (Marsh Swamp Free Will Baptist Church) -- and they did this same thing to their police department," said Jake Manning, Unity Free Will Baptist Youth Pastor. " "When you think of mission trip you think of out of the country, out of the state, but we have decided to stay here in Greenville." Rising sixth graders through graduated seniors want to love on the men and women in uniform who help others every day. Hand-written note after note and stuffing bag after bag is just part of the work that goes into this project. "Police have been getting a lot of flack so I think this would be a good encouragement for them," Tyler Justice said. After loading up the van, the group heads across Greenville to deliver the bags to the officers, who are mostly out in the community. But they'll see the surprise after their job for the day is complete. "All it takes is one interaction to change somebody's mind and I think thats what this is all about," Greenville Public Information Officer Kristen Hunter said. Hunter also said that it's very refreshing to have such a positive response from the community and officers really appreciate when community members acknowledge their hard work. This is the first year the youth group has stayed in Greenville

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