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Mount Carmel hosts toy giveaway for Christmascomment (0)

January 31, 2008

The second CHRISTmas Kids toy giveaway at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, Double Springs, in Winston Baptist Association helped put Christ in Christmas for nearly 600 children from Winston County and beyond.

egun in 2006 by providing toys for nearly 350 children, it is a ministry that Pastor Tony Gasaway hopes will continue annually for years to come.

Throughout 2007, used — but usable — toys were collected and stored in an 18-wheeler in the church parking lot. Monetary donations were also accepted. Volunteers put in long hours cleaning and putting batteries into the toys and making sure they were in good condition. Then from 8 a.m. until noon Dec. 15, Mount Carmel Baptist opened the doors to its fellowship hall where tables loaded with toys had been set up. “Shoppers” were allowed to choose one large toy and three small ones per child. All that was asked of them was a moment of their time.

“We took down their contact information, the number of kids in the family and any prayer requests they had,” Gasaway said. “That way, we can follow up with them and check on their kids. We also told them about the Lord and invited them to come to church.”

A Bible and a copy of Rick Warren’s “The Invitation” CD were given to each family. Half of the Bibles and CDs were furnished by Sunny Home Baptist Church, Haleyville, in Winston Association. Sunny Home Baptist also provided some of the manpower needed to pull off the massive effort.

“Our goal was to make a difference in children’s lives,” Gasaway said. “And the Lord provided everything we needed.”

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