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Christian Ministry hands out food, toys

Joseph Dobbs wheels a load of food to a family in need at the Christian Ministry food and toy distribution day on Thursday.

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer

Hundreds of families and volunteers flocked to Christian Ministry Thursday as the organization unloaded wheelbarrows full of food items and trash bags packed with new toys.
The annual Christmas fundraiser, which fell more than $20,000 short of last year’s total, nonprofit officials said, is just as exciting for those who hand out the items as it is for recipients who, without the assistance, would have no holiday gifts and limited food to last them into the new year.
“The money has done terrible this year,” Executive Director Susan Brymer said.
However, her spirits remained positive as she watched the event unfold, she and other organization officials dressed in their most festive Christmas attire.
Brymer even tossed and turned Wednesday night in anticipation of the annual affair.
“This is the most exciting day of the year for us,” she said. “We get to be Santa Claus to people. My Christmas morning can’t compare to this.”
Brymer said the event originated with local radio station WLON and First United Methodist Church in Lincolnton years ago.
After Christian Ministry was established in the 1970s, the two organizations handed the responsibility over to the new nonprofit, which has made it a community success ever since.
From 8 a.m.-4 p.m., volunteers from area churches, including St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Crouse, assisted individuals with unloading and packing food as well as carrying donations to vehicles. Church member Mike Huss, who volunteers with the handout each year, couldn’t imagine being anywhere else than at the facility during the culmination of the December fundraiser.
“It’s the right thing to do,” he said.
Mother-daughter duo Wanda and April Greer were excited to procure new toys for April’s two children, ages 8 and 10, and the rest of Wanda’s grandchildren in the West Lincoln area.
“It’s a great program,” April said of Christian Ministry’s six-week-long fundraising effort, which starts in November.
“If it weren’t for them, my kids would get a Christmas but not a good Christmas.”
Brymer said the organization will take donations for the fund through the end of the year, especially since the fund’s current total, a little more than $84,500, remains a far cry from 2012’s $110,000.
Jerry Scronce, who directed traffic and assisted in any other way he could for the event, recognized the heart of the fundraiser’s mission, as he watched a community pull together Thursday, and through the organization and leadership of Christian Ministry, meet others’ needs.
“A lot of people are being made happy today,” he said.
Brymer put a number — more than 500 families, she estimated — on the blur of excited faces that passed in and out of the ministry’s property.
She felt strongly the number would exceed 600 after nonprofit officials finished signing up additional clients on the day of the effort.
Christian Ministry will continue to hand out items today to anyone who may have been unable to get to the site beforehand.
Volunteers will distribute items from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
To donate to the Christmas Fund, call (704) 732-0383, visit the facility at 207 South Poplar Street or mail money to the following address: Christian Ministry, P.O. Box 423, Lincolnton, N.C. 28093.
Christian Ministry will close for the holidays Monday through Wednesday; the soup kitchen will remain open.

The organization received the following donations through week three of the Christmas Fund:
Mr. & Mrs. John Carmony – $500
First UMC (Women’s group) – $300
Bobby Costner – $500
Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Bridges – $100
Bethphage Lutheran Church (Class #1) – $50
Lizzie Lu’s – $150
Gainsville Baptist Church – $728
Mr. & Mrs. Don Pendleton – $150
Nancy Stokes – $50
M. A. Rankin – $25
Glenn & Ruby Parker – $100
Boger City UMC – $400
Roseland Baptist Church – $100
North Brook Baptist Church – $250
Calvary Baptist Church – $100
Boger City Baptist Church – $2,000
New Vision Ministries – $200
B. Blanton & B. Frick – $100
Emmanuel Lutheran (Community Thanksgiving Service) – $283
Times Oil – $350
Hull’s Grove Baptist Church – $375
Coral Park Baptist Church – $100
Sharon Baptist Church – $305.03
Macedonia Baptist Church – $166.67
Landers Chapel UMC (Friendship Class) – $100
Grace Baptist Church – $100
Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Brewster – $100
David & Linda Creech – $500
Mr. & Mrs. William Arrowood – $50
Ironton Presbyterian Church – $250
Pearl Baptist Church (Golf tournament) – $566.47
Calvary Baptist (Senior Adult Men’s Class) – $100
Mr. & Mrs. Nick Coffey – $60
Salem Reformed UCC – $200
Mr. & Mrs. Roger Gore – $100
First UMC (Jill Owen Circle) -$100
Red Rabbit – $50
Mr. & Mrs. George Boyd – $50
Joseph Rhyne Jr. – $1,500
Reepsville Baptist Church – $50
Sue Johnson – $25
Asbury UMC (Women’s group) – $25
Mr. & Mrs. Marvin Ben Heavner – $50
National Association of Letter Carriers – $150
Covenant Bible Church – $1,050
David Memorial Baptist Church – $25
Matt Eurey – $150
Cornelia Moss – $20
Crouse UMC (Women’s group) – $162
Holy Cross Lutheran Church – $166.67
Hesed House of Hope – $100
Mr. & Mrs. Ivan Angel – $25
NARFE Chapter 1983 – $65
Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Geerken – $750
William Stark – $350
Santa’s Sac – $100
Bill & Marty Coram – $50
Dr. & Mrs. Keith Dedmon – $200
Elliott Loftin – $50
Mr. & Mrs. Tunny Wilkinson – $50
McKendree UMC – $2,348.40
Webb’s Chapel Baptist Church – $81.91
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Moser – $50
Joey Lockman – $200
Children of Middle Cross Baptist – $25
Daniel’s Lutheran Church – $150
A.B.O.O.F. Gang – $300
Friday Morning Lead’s Group – $185
First UMC (Good News 55+ Class) – $100
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Giles – $200
Jane Lemmond – $200
Anonymous – $7,050
Total:  $66,943.07

Image courtesy of Jaclyn Anthony / Lincoln Times-News

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