MONROE, GA Dec. 20, 2021 – On a mission trip to the Western Kentucky Christmas Toy Drive in 2019, the One Student Ministry of The Praise Center on Highway 78 in Between saw what could be done and thought they could do the same for their own community of Walton County, Georgia.
Youth group leaders Jennifer and Brent Butler presented the idea to pastor Jeremy Bryan after he was installed in October. With a little over a month to pull it together, the church and students raised the funds to provide $10,000 in new toys and bicycles to those in need of a Christmas blessing.
The youth group teens worked for weeks on Sunday and Wednesday nights unpacking toys, taking off price tags, sorting toys, distributing flyers, and putting bikes together. On the big day, kids received coloring books, crayons, hot chocolate, and a visit from Santa and watched videos while they waited for their turn to “shop” for multiple gifts with their parents and the help of nearly 80 volunteers.
Jennifer Butler said, “Jesus’s love was poured out today! The looks on the faces of the children as they walked in the room was awesome, and the smiles throughout the day were priceless! I heard the statement ‘this is such a blessing’ numerous times today.”
After providing Christmas blessings for about 140 children, there were just enough toys for everyone to receive their choice of toys.
Pastor Jeremy Bryan said,” I am so grateful for the generosity of our church and those connected with our church to help families at Christmas. Many gave generously financially while others gave generously of their time. I am proud of our student ministry who worked hard for over a month getting ready for the big day. Our hope is that through The CHRISTmas Blessing people realized they matter to us and to a God who loves them.”
The Praise Center plans to expand The CHRISTmas Blessing in the coming years. For information contact the church at thepraisecenter.net or at 770-267-7834.