If you are in need of some help with Christmas this year, please text the word SANTA to 423.481.8805.
St John UMC provided Christmas gifts and more for 12 children from 3 different families this Christmas season. 2020 was a tough year for all of us, but it was praticularly rough for these 3 families.
1 family had 1 income providing for 9 people in Section 8 housing with no heat due to a gas leak making their heating unit inoperable. St John brothers & sisters loaned space heaters for each bedroom as they await repairs on their central unit. You also provided blankets, sheets, and pillows for every bed where there was previously none. Each child recieved warm clothes and new shoes, as well as 2 toys or "fun" items.
1 family had 2 working parents and 3 healthy children and 1 child preparing for spinal surgery before the pandemic hit. They continued making quarterly trips to the Shriner's hospital in Kentucky. Then Dad lost his job with the COVID shut downs. Already paycheck to paycheck and medical & travel bills piling up, they nearly lost their apartment, but always managed to squeak by. They did however lose a storage unit full of many of their belongings. When St John brothers & sisters found out, they leapt into action. While we could not replace all they lost in the storage unit, we were able to bring some Christmas magic to this house by providing a tree, lights, and some ornaments. Each child being old enough to understand what was going on in their family's life expected there to be nothing under that tree though. Thanks to you all, they all woke up to 3 gifts each under the tree!
Our other family has 2 boys, a mother on disability, and a father working in the service industry. The service industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and his shifts have been scarce this year. Thanks to their loving brothers & sisters at St John, both boys have winter coats, warm clothes & shoes, and some presents under their tree this year.
One mother wrote us this:
St John has been nothing but a MIRACLE to my family. I know my story may not be important but I'm so overjoyed, blessed, & overwhlemed about all the support we have received from a a congregation of God-fearing people that know nothing about us . . . I thought I had everything as a child . . . [but to make a long story short] . . . I was growing up in a life of sin. I realized I didnt' want to sit at the opposite table anymore. I wanted to try Jesus, even though certain mistakes & choices had already been made in mife on my path to destruction. Since my growing in life and in Christ, I made the decision to give it my all to live decent and take care of these precious kids that He has blessed me with. Trying to work 50-60 hours a week, manage a home I can barely afford with help, just to try and make sure they aren't deprived of anything. It gets tough. It gets lonely. But God has never left nor forsaken me. He has even put people in my path to help assist me where I fall short with my earthly needs. So all that to say - from me and my heartbeats - we are so blessed, overjoyed, & grateful to have people who truly shines bright for others when the light is a little dim. Thank you for being our twinkling star this Christmas.
sponsored by Harrison UMC, St John UMC, Savannah UMC, Washington Hills UMC, Mt. Canaan, and Northminster Presbyterian.
Many years ago, Harrison UMC realized that several families in their partner school, Harrison Elementary, were struggling to have presents under the tree for their kids. Ever since then, they have provided for these families, and every year, the list has grown. This year, with the merger of Harrison & Hillcrest Elementary Schools and 2020 being what it is, the list of needy families jumped from 35 kids to over 75 kids. They reached out and all the Hwy 58 churches responded. We are all partnering together to bring Christmas smiles to as many children as we can!