Every year my church not only raises enough funds to give 6,000 children toys for Christmas, it also has enough volunteers to distribute those toys and put on a show for every family. It is one of the most challenging days of the year, but also the most rewarding. I love that my own children look forward to picking our Toys 4 Tots and am thankful for a church that actively looks for ways to impact the community.
The day itself consists of at four groups of people that come through. Each group starts at registration (really it is check in as they have already been registered over the phone sometime in the weeks leading up to T4T). Here they are divided in groups which will later determine where they shop. They then have to wait, while being entertained by the amazing John Hickman (youth pastor), in the hallway to be let into the sanctary for the show.
They then get to experience one of our family shows where there is singing, dancing and our pastor goes over the true meaning of Christmas; they then are given the opportunity to respond to the message. They also give three lucky children a free bike to kick off Christmas!!
After the show the children are taken to a seperate area for more fun and games while the adults are taken to shop for their toys. This is an elaborate process that requires a lot of workers and great organization.
My favorite part of the day, though, is getting watch as people take their first steps in a new life. Young and old alike stir these waters on this very special day.
Of all the people you see throughout the day,
there is always that one that makes the whole day worth it. For me it was this little boy. He was leaving at the same time as me, and had the biggest grin on his face. As I got closer to him I realized that he was one of the kids that had won a bike during the family show….it was obvious that it truly made his day. I stopped and talked to him (and took a quick picture) and listened to how excited he was to get a bike even though he had done nothing to earn it. It was a great reminder of why we do what we do.