The members of “Spirit of Truth” church have been collecting items all year leading up to their 23rd “Spirit of Christmas” event this weekend.
During the event, gifts will be provided to local children. Although Spirit of Truth church, located in Washington C.H. at 713 Robinson Road SE, is hosting the event, it will be happening at Miami Trace Elementary School.
The event is invitation-only and is not open to the public. The church worked with Miami Trace Local School District and Washington Court House City Schools in order to determine which families would be invited based off need.
“We work with the local school systems every year, and they invite the children,” explained April Young, the daughter of Spirit of Truth Pastor Don Young. “We usually invite 400 to 600 kids which we did this year.”
For the past 22 years, the event has typically been held throughout the Appalachia region of Kentucky and West Virginia, according to Young. This year, it was decided to hold it locally for Fayette County.
“We always want to have a mission to reach outside of our walls,” she said. “This year we wanted to reach out in our community, because we see such a need.”
She further explained that the number of kids in their Sunday school program has increased. Another increase is how many kids are being taken care of by people other than their parents, such as grandparents.
“There’s just an extra need for help,” said Young. “The church needs to reach out more, come out of the school walls and buff our community. If we can be there for them throughout the year, it’s easier when we do it in our own community so we can be more active with the families. So, that’s why we chose Fayette County—so we can reach them throughout the year instead of just one weekend throughout the year.”
The gifts the children receive will vary, although all of it was donated by the members of the church.
“We don’t work with any organizations, we just raise it all year,” said April. “Everything is brand new—they receive brand new toys, shoes, socks, pillows, blankets, hats and gloves.”
“One hundred families get food boxes. They have a ham and a complete Christmas meal with all the sides, butter and dessert. The schools choose the 100 families we give the food boxes to that day based on need,” said Young. “We rely on the school system pretty heavily to choose, because we’re obviously not as familiar with the kids. So, they’ll do all of this for us.”
Young explained that if anyone wants to donate at this point the most helpful would be monetary donations to assist with covering the cost. For more information, the Facebook page is “Spirit of Truth church” and the website is www.spiritoftruthchurch.com.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.