All ages are welcome and encouraged to help assemble gift bags for 300+ children from FWISD. Volunteers are needed to work specific stations to help the night run smoothly: check-in and check-out tables, passing out specific gifts at stations, tying bags, running completed bags, delivering gifts, double checking completed bags, set-up and tear down. If you would like to help in one of these roles, we ask that you sign up in advance. If you and/or your family would simply like to fill bags, no need to sign up in advance, just show up at 5:00pm the night of the 12th to serve!
Christmas Angels is a long-standing UCC outreach ministry made possible by faithful giving year after year. Through donations provided by our UCC family, we are able to provide hundreds of children a gift that builds confidence and encourages education and play. Monetary gifts of all amounts make an impact and are appreciated. A $100 donation provides a gift bag that gives each child a new coat, sweatshirt, jeans, shoes, underwear, outdoor toy, a book and Bible. If you have any questions, contact Rev. Jessica Vacketta
History of Christmas Angels
It began in 1993 when the ‘original’ Angels, members of the Bible Discovery Sunday school class, outfitted 50 kindergarten students with brand new coats. What started out as a Sunday school class initiative, developed into relationship-building with school counselors and a church-wide mission of serving the children in our community. Since that first year and 50 coats, the Christmas Angel ministry has grown to serve 300, 400 some years 500 or more students each year!
Wrap Night arrives after FWISD students are identified and the purchasing of items has been completed. Prayers are offered and then children, youth and adults alike, work diligently to ensure that every item is placed into its respective gift bag. When the packing is done, a team of eager and willing volunteers load their cars to prepare for the drop off the next morning. When all is said and done, several hundred bags are hand delivered to the school counselors.
One year, after the bags were delivered, the following message was received from one of those counselors, “Thank you for the delivery of the Christmas Angel gift bags. Children will have smiles on their faces when they receive them. I appreciate each and every one of the people in your group who give time and love to this project. Please share my thanks and have a wonderful Christmas season.” Her message was concise, but it speaks volumes as to what we are able to collectively achieve.
While it is a deeply appreciated gift to those children who receive the gifts, perhaps the greater joy is ours, in being able to give these gifts to the children in our community who are identified as being in need. What an awesome way to feel God’s abundant grace through service to others. This is how we’re called to be in community with each other, and it is lived out each year in the working hands and hearts of our UCC family. For many who participate with this ministry, it is one of the greatest joys of the Advent season at UCC.
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