Present Hope

Present Hope

Before I really get going I want to thank everyone who made Friend’s Day possible for us last week! It was a huge success! The auditorium was pretty full, the food was good, the fellowship was even better and people invited friends to join us. Thank you for helping make Friend’s Day a big success this year. We especially want to thank those who helped plan, set up, clean up, and serve one another last Sunday. These things help make for a successful day! I pray that we can use this opportunity to continue to reach out to people and invite them to go to church with you.

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it is time for us to turn toward Christmas. One of the biggest blessings I’ve seen in the area around Christmas is Present Hope. Last year I asked you to help provide 25 dollar gift cards to Kroger. Northeast stepped up to the challenge and got us more than we had originally asked for! This year we are going to help out again with Present Hope, but what is it?

Present Hope is a program in Knoxville that is run with the Knoxville area Churches of Christ and an area after school program on the north side of the city for those who don’t have a lot. Each Christmas we put in a store where parents bring a small amount of money, like 5 dollars, and then the parents get to select three present for each of their children. While the parents shop the children also get to choose a present for the parents to give them at Christmas. Present Hope is helping to give kids a Christmas that they otherwise wouldn’t have. So how can you help this year?

This year there have been around 140 children signed up for Present Hope. We have been asked to help out with seven children. Out in the foyer there are index cards on a coffee table. Those cards have a name, age, gender, and price range for each child. Each child has a card for a gift in the price range of 5-10 dollars, 10-15 dollars, and 20-25 dollars. We are looking for toys, games, dolls, and things like that. There are also 4 cards for a 25 dollar gift card to Kroger for each family we are representing. We will need all of the gifts back by December 5th so we can deliver them to Knoxville. When you return the gifts, please do not wrap them. We will take care of that. Please mark out the UPC barcode and leave the gift in the box that matches the price range of that gift.

On December 9th, the van will take any of the youth that are available after the Christmas Lunch to go down to the Arlington Church of Christ to help wrap presents and assist parents at Present Hope. We will return by the end of the evening service.

Thank you for your time and for your generosity. Please consider helping us with Present Hope and providing some joy this season to so many families in need. It may not seem like a big deal to some of us but for some of these families this is one of the biggest blessings they get this year. You can even make this a family even and go gather the gifts together! I am excited to see what we can do this year and I am thankful to be a part of this family who is always so willing to bless other people.

Mark Casella