I asked Lori Bratton to share some sentiments about The Children’s Homes Christmas Party, which our church sponsors every year. This year, the party is Sunday afternoon, December 14. We encourage you to pray over how the Lord wants you to be involved! Your charitable donations and sponsorships, if led by the Spirit, make that day a truly special day.
From the outside, The Children’s Home Christmas Party probably looks like any other party. Lots of food, games, presents, and noise. But having experienced it for the last three years, from the inside, it’s so much more than a party.
It started with a Huddle group who decided to find a way to give back. It’s grown into a life-changing experience that whole families can look forward to each Christmas.
There are around 50 children who are residents at The Children’s Homes in Paragould, Arkansas, at any one time. Our commitment has been to provide them with Christmas presents and a party. We do it all by fundraising – chili suppers, yard sales, donations, online wish lists – and then we wrap all the gifts, load them on a trailer, and deliver them. In previous years, about seventy-five members of our church made the trip to Paragould, to spend the afternoon with about seventy-five residents and staff of The Children’s Homes.
We play games – Human Bingo, Duck Duck Goose, Corn Hole, and more – we eat food, we have a devo, we take pictures with Santa, we get to interact and get to know each other. Then we all sit in a circle – “our” kids and “their” kids – and we bring out the presents. There’s nothing magical about the presents. But there is something magical that happens when you see a 16-year-old girl open her first-ever pair of new shoes. And when you see a little boy whoop because he now has his own Bible. Or when you see the football star (that really didn’t want to come to the party) holding a six-year-old girl when she opens up her own Lalaloopsy doll.
The effort has been so blessed that we’ve also been able to provide the house parents with gift cards they can use to treat themselves. We’ve been able to sponsor movie days for their whole crew to get to rent out the theater during Christmas break so they can all go. We’ve been able to contribute to their vacation fund.
And we’ve built relationships and memories that will last into eternity.
If the Lord is leading you to be a part of this incredible day, please contact our church office.