For many years our church has been blessed with funds to provide Christmas gifts for people in our community. The program has been managed several different ways through the years. The consistent factor is that our church members have done the “leg work” with the families that receive assistance through the program.
Currently, we contact the school counselors and ask for their assistance in identifying families that need assistance. The counselors contact the families to determine their willingness to participate. The families are matched with church members who contact the family and determine their needs. Usually the parents and the church members shop together, using the donated funds, so the children will be surprised with gifts on Christmas morning. We provide a Bible for each family and our members are encouraged to pray with the family as they work together. Each family also receives a $100 Brookshire gift card to purchase a special meal for Christmas.
In 2022, we were able to bless 38 families through the Christmas Benevolence program. In addition to that, we provided needed items for 4 nursing care residents, 15 pairs of shoes plus 20 pairs of socks were purchased and donated to Love in Action for their annual shoe drive.
This year, we had 27 volunteers that either met with these families and shopped with them or for them. Total volunteer hours by members of FPC-Athens exceeded 132. Thank you to all who gave of their time to help those who needed the help and encouragement this Christmas season.
Each year we hear stories of the blessing these families are to our church members. Friendships are made and true joy of Christmas, being as Christ to others, enhances the lives of our members. Any church member can volunteer to participate in the program. If you have not signed up, just call the church office and you will be assigned a family to meet.
We are preparing for the upcoming Christmas season, if you would like more information on how you can help, please contact the church office at 903-675-3530 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.