Religion
First Presbyterian Church of Bonham invites community to participate in Spirit of Giving Community Christmas Party
By Carol Amlin, First Presbyterian Church of Bonham
Oct 8, 2018
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Bonham, Texas -- In November of 2017, First Presbyterian Church of Bonham hosted Bonham’s fourth annual Spirit of Giving Community Christmas Party.  Church members and partners donated new and gently used items which were given away, free of charge, to those in attendance.  More than 450 men, women, and children were served during the event, and both volunteers and guests were richly blessed.

The church has plans to hold the fifth annual Spirit of Giving on Saturday, November 17, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on their parking lot and would like to invite your church, civic organization, or business to join in this unique event.

How does it work?  All donated items are displayed at various stations, including coats, jewelry, household goods, holiday decorations, small furniture items, movies, toys, games, food baskets, etc.  Everyone who attends the event, regardless of age, receives five tickets to “purchase” anything they want for FREE.  Items large and small have a “cost” of one ticket.  There are no income limits, paperwork, or qualifications imposed.

At our 2017 event, we had several returning, and new, partners.  The Chi Lambda Sorority gave away new bed pillows, and Bonham Psychiatry hosted a station with new blankets.  The K5 Fannin Radio Club served hot dogs and fixings to all guests.  First United Methodist gave away cases of diapers and new toys.  Living Word Church of God gave baskets full of laundry supplies and paper goods.  The Kiwanis Club set up a gift wrapping station for items chosen as gifts.  First Presbyterian Church provided more than 30 brand new bicycles which were given away in a drawing.    Local Boy Scouts  served cookies and hot chocolate and helped shoppers carry out items.  And, First Baptist Church is greatly appreciated for providing their parking lot for workers and shoppers to use each year.

In addition to last years’ partners, Cole Title Company will be joining to give away accessories such as purses, wallets, scarves, etc.   Ivanhoe Baptist will provide boxes of food to help families out with the holidays.    Calvary United Pentecostal Church will be giving away toiletries, towels and washcloths.  Our goal is to increase the number of groups participating in 2018 to truly make it a Community Christmas Party!  Your church, organization – or even your family – can identify an item you would like to give away at your station.   Here are some suggestions:

·         Christmas stockings filled with gift items

·         New toys and new baby items

·         New, or gently used, coats for children and adults 

·         New socks, all gender and all sizes

 

Then you simply collect your items, bring them to the FPC parking lot the day of the event, and give them away!  You may want to bring a sign to display to identify your church, organization or business.

The idea for this event came from our neighboring town of Paris, when one family asked their church for permission to give away their excess stuff on the church parking lot.  Other families decided to join them, and over a nine year period the Paris event has grown to serve hundreds of people with many community groups participating. 

Those who have donated and volunteered the last four years have found this to be a wonderful way to start their Christmas season.  The idea is not to create a charity event, but instead to challenge oneself to let go, and give up something for the benefit of another.  We hope this event will grow in Bonham as it has in Paris, fostering community cooperation and building relationships while helping those in need. 

For more information about how to be involved, contact First Presbyterian Church at 903-583-2014 or info@fpc-bonham.org.  Members of our Mission Committee will be glad to answer questions about the event, or speak to your group about volunteer opportunities.