Don Carroll has been making Christmas special for needy kids for years in Batavia. Recently he has partnered with Pastor Jeff Bartz of Grace to help make the “event” happen? What is that “event”? One weekend in December families come to Grace for lunch, some games and then head home with some presents. The presents are courtesy of Don Carroll who raises money all year for this charitable event.
Here is how Grace helps. Early Saturday morning folks from Grace meet Don Carroll at Wal-Mart. Using the funds Don Carroll has raised from the community all year the Grace folks (with others from the community) purchase items from a wish list submitted by families. After the items are purchased the “shoppers” come back to Grace and wrap the gifts. A lunch is provided followed by games. During the games (led by Esther Osterman) the parents sneak out and get the presents for their kids. Pastor Jeff Bartz and Esther Osterman also had opportunities to address the families and share the gospel with them.
Don Carroll lost his parents when he was young and was raised by his aunt. Things were very tight and there was a lot he did without growing up. If it were not for the generosity of a church who took an interest in his life, he would not have experienced the joy of receiving gifts for Christmas. As a result, he has devoted his life’s energy to raising funds and providing dozens of children with clothes and toys for Christmas.
To the kids it is just a fun day but for the parents it is an opportunity to put some presents under the tree they otherwise would not have been able to. For Grace it is a chance to touch some lives and demonstrate the Love that came down this time of year.
Here are some pictures of the shopping portion as well as the event at the church.