Church partnership provides gifts for needy families

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2005

IRONTON - Local churches want to do their part to put the &#8220Merry” in Christmas this year.

St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ironton will hold its &#8220Christmas With Dignity” holiday gift giveaway program for needy families of Ironton and Lawrence County.

The giveaway will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at 101 S. Sixth St. in Ironton.

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Recognizing that many of these children and parents would not otherwise receive presents at holiday time, St. Paul is organizing the one day event that will include toys, games and gifts for children; gifts for parents; food to enjoy during the event and live entertainment from church choirs and musicians.

&#8220We know that there is a need in the community for this type of thing and we're hoping that our congregation can fill that need” said Mike Poole, pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church. Pastor Poole stated that the first event in the fall of 2004 providing clothing to 446 people. The effort provided 3,200 Christmas gifts to approximately 675 people last December. And this same group gave away more than 1,200 book bags filled with school supplies this past fall.

&#8220We have definitely seen the affects of our ministry in the Tri-State area. And the numbers of people requesting assistance continues to grow” Poole said.

In an effort to maintain the dignity and self esteem of those participating, gifts will be arranged on shelves, unwrapped and sorted by age group.

The parents will then &#8220shop” for an appropriate present for their children.

Wrapping paper and gift tags will also be provided so they can wrap the gifts themselves.

Likewise, the children will also be given the opportunity to pick out a gift for their family members.

Musicians from St. Paul Lutheran and other organizations will be on hand to provide music. Light refreshments will also be served.

St. Paul Lutheran Church is collaborating with several other congregations and organizations that will be collecting items and providing volunteers for the event.

For information on how to donate items or volunteer, contact Poole at (740) 532-4727.

St. Paul Lutheran Church is located in downtown Ironton.

Since its beginning in 1859, the church has been a part of the community, striving to reach out and serve all those in need.

St. Paul Lutheran Church is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.