Holiday festivities highlight celebration
By John Rech firstname.lastname@example.org
There was room at the inn for everybody during the 8th Street Mission Christmastime event. Volunteers arrived early to set the stage full of toys and cook up the turkey, ham and fixings. The doors opened to the community at 9 a.m., and by 10 o’clock, nearly 500 people had feasted on the complimentary Christmas meal. Donations to the mission not only made the meal free but also filled tables and topped the platform with gifts for all the girls and boys. Boxes and bicycles were spread from end to end. Proving again to be more than a stereotypical homeless center and a true mission for Jesus Christ the celebration centered on the true story of the nativity. Those packed into the worship hall and dining room not only received presents but had the presence of the Lord ushered in just for them. Director, Pastor Larry Brown sang “Mary Did You Know” and presented the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ to young and old alike. Children had a light in their eyes seeing all the toys staged and ready for distribution. Kids waited for their ticket number to be drawn from the registration hat and they picked gifts in order. Lot’s of smiles and gratitude was expressed. Brown acknowledged donors and recapped the festivities. “Thanks to The Evening Times,” said Brown. “One of our volunteers asked people how they heard about it and most told us it was in the paper. Bo Rodgers Auction is responsible for 70 percent of the toy donations. The other toys were from a toy drive at Walmart. People went into the store and bought gifts, brought them out and gave them to us.” Toys weren’t the only take home from the event. Food baskets topped with a big turkey were handed out too. “We have 100 food baskets to give away as well,” said Brown.