Christian TV station trucks in toys, goods to South Point

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 12, 2003

The holiday season often makes the reality of poverty sink deeper - to point where it hurts.

A Christian television station in South Carolina is hoping to erase some of the hurt.

From 1:30-5 p.m. at South Point High School, the Greenville, S.C.-based Dove Broadcasting Company and South Point area church pastors will sponsor "To Appalachia with Love," a Christmas-themed worship service in which three truckloads of toys, food and clothing will be distributed to those who need it.

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"We want to eliminate the stress and hurt of the time," said Townie Sloan, director of missions. "Several mothers have said, 'We don't know what to do. We have no money,' and they've been referred by ministers and missions. We've tried to make it brighter for them."

The program is now in its 27th year, and Dove Broadcasting took the reins after a minister known as "The Parson of the Hills" died. This man, Sloan said, was known for his charity work and for being on several station programs. Most of the time, the station is visiting areas of West Virginia, but will now visit Appalachian Ohio for the first time this year.

Sunday's worship service will feature Christmas carols, a Christmas clown known as El Joy and a message about the Christmas story, according to a release from Dove Broadcasting. Following the service, each child will receive a toy and teenagers will also receive a gift of their choice. Every person will be given a blanket, household goods and fruit/candy bag, and new and used clothing will be made available.

Sloan advised any interested person to contact South Point area pastors, particularly Aaron Childers of Solida Baptist Church to obtain the free tickets needed for the event. However, she emphasized that no one will be turned away at the door.

The service will be videotaped, but Sloan said this is only to show donors where their money is going. This will be broadcast to kick off the campaign next year, she said.

"It is our heart's desire to introduce people to Jesus Christ. Gifts will tear up, and they will need batteries. Jesus is the real reason for Christmas."