A holiday giveaway weekend not only helped Springfield’s needy in having a happier season for their families, but also spiritually rewarded members of Victory Faith Center, which sponsored the event.
Increased financial donations meant hundreds of items, food boxes and even Christmas trees could be given for free on Saturday and Sunday, including $7,000 worth of toys alone, along with 180 hams and other essentials, from breakfast cereals to socks and gloves.
“It’s an extension of God’s hand at work,” said center member Clyde Suttles, who helped by securing Christmas trees. A local business owner, his employees also came out to help attendees load boxes and trees, saying they’d selflessly drop whatever weekend plans they had to help.
Victory Faith Center Pastor Pauline Hamblin said this first-time event is a large step up in the church’s four years in the community. Its first charitable outreach was a hot dog cookout in Snyder Park and expanded the outreach from there.
Today, the center operates a weekly soup kitchen and free store, and did a Thanksgiving meal. Hamblin said things like the ongoing pandemic, job losses and such continue to affect the public and this effort isn’t merely about giving things away.
“This is for people who didn’t think they’d have a Christmas,” she said. “This is passing out love.”
Sunday’s first visitor was Sara Rose, a young mom who brought her two-month-old and has kids ages 2 and 3 at home. She was able to pick up toys, food and even a Christmas tree.
“It means a lot. Money has been tight and this means I’ll be giving gifts to my kids on Christmas,” said Rose.
Lisa Tilton was in a similar situation, but looking out for her grandkids, gathering scooters, a toy bus and other essentials, such as socks and cereal.
“This is a wonderful blessing. I had nothing for my grandbabies,” she said. “Thank you to these people.”
Center staff and members said being able to help was their reward and part of their spiritual calling. Associate Pastor Carla Laux was happy that several people expressed interest in joining the church family.
Suttles said the public is welcome to take whatever Christmas trees remain for free. They are located outside of the Victory Faith Center building, located at 424 S. Fountain Ave.
The center will also have a Christmas luncheon at noon on Saturday, open to anyone in need of a good meal.
Hamblin said someone recently asked why she and her colleagues would want to give up their holiday to do things like that.
“Why wouldn’t we?” she said.
About the Author