Thank you to the many, many volunteers who served today at our Christmas for Everyone Toy Store event at Bethel Richland! Over 200+ kids in our community now have multiple gifts for Christmas that were picked out and purchased by Mom or Dad, plus new blankets, socks and other fun items—and food—all through the generosity of our Bethel family and community partners! It was pure joy to see so many bikes, Lego’s, dolls, games, gift cards, and more leave the toy store to be wrapped by the families and our volunteers!
We love this opportunity to be light to a hurting world right in our own community. It’s fun to serve together—it’s who we were created to be—and we love hearing and sharing stories of how God is at work.
We always hear multiple stories from parents who are just SO GRATEFUL to pick out exactly what their kids wanted for Christmas. To be able as a parent to meet that “want” when you absolutely cannot afford it, it’s such a gift. For a parent to walk in and see that exact gift waiting on them—to see quality gifts and not just stuff from the Dollar Store—it restores some of their broken dignity.
From Thanksgiving Meal to Christmas Host
A Bethel family adopted a local family for Thanksgiving. They delivered a meal basket, and got to briefly meet and interact with the family. Today they were family hosts (they help families move throughout the event). The second family assigned to them (unbeknownst to all of us) was the same family they adopted at Thanksgiving! They spent over an hour together today as they moved from station to station, learning more about each other and sharing life.
Tomorrow that adopted family will join their family hosts for worship at Bethel Richland. God knew and made the connection times two. 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽
A Brand New Bike for Christmas
One family said their son had been asking for a bike for a long time, so they were super excited to give him the same thing that all his friends have—a bicycle! And not just any bicycle, but a brand new one!! The pride and joy in that Dad’s eyes was humbling to see.
Many families tell us they usually dread Christmas, but this year it will be “the best Christmas ever.”
One person said when leaving,
“Thank you for everything. Today I feel like I won the lottery.”
It’s these simple reminders of things we kinda take for granted that mean the most. To allow the parents to be the “grantors” of the gifts—the church just provides the opportunity so Mom and Dad get to be the heroes.
This day is not about Bethel Church, those who serve, or the donations given. JESUS is in the business of changing lives, and we love that we can join Him right where He is working and help make a difference!