Volunteers gain joy from gift of giving

The joy of giving....

Volunteers with the 2008 Christmas for Kids program realized just how much joy is felt from giving so that over 500 area children wake-up Christmas morning with their very own gifts under the Christmas tree.

The group of volunteers worked hard to make sure each of the 500 plus children that had submitted applications for their Christmas lists were, in deed, granted.

Each child, for the most part received four wrapped gifts which meant that there were over 2000 gifts to wrap and deliver in a very short time.

"Lake Ridge Christian Church looked like Santa's workshop had exploded in the Family Life Center," explained Amanda Fessant of HIS Ministry, the driving force behind the Christmas for Kids program.  "Classrooms and the stage were filled with gifts and tables were stretched from one end to the other in the gym."

A week before Christmas, the volunteers gathered at the church for two days to get the job done in time and make sure that all the applicants received their gifts.

"We had hoped to do all the wrapping and deliveries in just one day, but the forecast was calling for freezing rain on the evening of the 18th so we started a day earlier, Fessant continued.  "We were able to get to the out lying areas so that we wouldn't have drivers out in such bad weather going so far."

Fessant explained that the volunteers were sent out in twos so that one could drive while the other directed the driver by reading the addresses and calling the homes with the provided phone numbers.

"By getting started earlier than planned the gifts were wrapped by 7:30  and deliveries finished by 9:30," Fessant said with enthusiasm.  "Out of 520 homes to deliver to there were only three that were undeliverable that evening.  That is quite a good record."

Fessant quickly explained that by the weekend the three were picked up and delivered to the children.

"Who knows when anyone of us may be in need of help and someone will come to our aid.  I like the thought and idea of 'pass it on.'  When someone does something good for you, don't try to repay that person, pass it on to others when you see a need and are able to help.  One of our biggest blessings has been seeing those that the ministry has helped in the past, helping with Christmas for Kids, passing it on!  Wow, that is truly what it is all about. Caring for each other." Fessant stressed with passion.