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Anniston church children, others help area children’s homecomment (0)

September 21, 2006

By Sondra Washington

While children in the Friendship House emergency shelter in Oxford slept through a terrible storm earlier this year, a lightning strike caused a fire that destroyed the facility’s clothing closet.

The 30-by-12-foot building, called Jehovah’s Closet, was filled with children’s clothing and donations gathered at Friendship House, an Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries (ABCH) facility. The items were used to meet the needs of children in crisis and foster families in northeast Alabama.

As word spread about Friendship House’s losses, which totaled more than $20,000, many Alabama Baptist churches and individuals responded by donating clothes, infant supplies and money.

Recently children from West Park Heights Baptist Church, Anniston, in Calhoun Baptist Association joined the effort, raising more than $1,100 for the facility one penny at a time. During the church’s Vacation Bible School, Children’s Minister Sherry Reynolds challenged the boys and girls to see which group could raise the most pennies for Friendship House. Together the groups gathered nearly 900 pounds of pennies in five days.

“In the past years, the children have given around $300, but this year, they went above and beyond,” Reynolds said. “This was an awesome week to see God working through these children and adults. And of course, there was a reward for the winner. The boys got to pie me and Ms. Scarlet Reid, our worship leader’s wife.”

The children also made 25 fleece friendship blankets for the children at the shelter.

“One of the many joys I experience every day is seeing God’s people respond to hurting children,” said Ted Embry, ABCH’s area director for central/northeastern Alabama. “Our ability to help children exists only because of the kindness of so many people.”

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