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Christmas in August showers center with suppliescomment (0)

December 17, 2009

Thank you is a very inadequate way to express our gratitude,” Jim Branum, associate director for volunteer mobilization at the Center at Central Park in Birmingham.

The center — a ministry partnership between the Birmingham Baptist Association and Central Park Baptist Church, Birmingham — received rooms full of school supplies after it and its director Grace McGraw, a North American Mission Board (NAMB) missionary, got some special publicity this year.

They were featured in August in the Woman’s Missionary Union’s (WMU) Girls in Action (GA) magazines — GA World and GA Leader — for the Christmas in August project.

The annual WMU-sponsored Christmas in August project encourages GAs to celebrate Christmas early by collecting supplies for NAMB missionaries.

McGraw requested donations for school supplies for the center to deliver to needy children in the inner-city Birmingham schools neighboring the center.

Since August, the center has received approximately 800 packages of notebook paper, 1,700 pens and pencils, 1,400 markers, 200 three-ring binders, 60 backpacks, 3,000 miscellaneous items and $900 worth of gift cards.

The gifts came from churches in 16 states, including about 50 Alabama Baptist churches, according to Branum.

These supplies, which will be delivered later this month in the surrounding neighborhoods, will be an open door for the gospel to be taken into the schools, Branum said.

“A pencil, a pen, you think that’s nothing, but if you look at it from a bigger picture, it is a bigger deal than you think,” he said. “If you did not do your part, then we could not do our part.” (TAB)

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