Children are the foundation of our Christian faith as Christ came into this world as a baby to experience what we live day by day. He lovingly received all children and told us to do the same. At Christ UMC, in Independence, we carry this above verse deep within our hearts as we try to meet some of the needs of our community’s children on the first Saturday in August as they prepare for a new year in school.
Our generous congregation donates and purchases new underwear and socks for each child who enters our door. We have an amazing group of parishioners that give many, many hours of work for this mission.
Preparation for this event is an entire year’s worth of love as we collect the new underwear and socks as well as new/used clothing, coats, shoes, accessories, toys, books, games, plus anything that may put a smile on a child’s face. That precious smile is what keeps us doing this offering each year! We are so blessed here at Christ UMC that we want to share our Lord’s message with our community as they come to a place where they feel accepted and welcomed.
This ministry not only involves members of our church and regular attendees but also family, friends, businesses, and churches around our area.
The tedious labor began in June when volunteers worked two days a week sorting and evaluating clothing to insure that the clothes given out are in good condition. Then all preparation hit a fevered pace in July with final purchases of underwear and socks plus a lot more items to be sorted.
The event actively involved 60 persons to set up the tables and items and help with the day of giving everything away plus cleaning up the entire areas used.
The joyful yet hard work paid off when by 6:00am on that day families were lining up to be some of the first through the door at 9:00am. Nothing can match the satisfaction of seeing the smiles on the children’s faces when they entered our Family Life Center and saw the clothing, toys, books, and games awaiting them inside. Nothing can replace the “Thank you” and “God bless you” from the parents and grandparents of the recipients.
This eighth year of the Children’s Clothing Give-Away was a humbling experience as 3,343 pairs of socks and underwear went home with 528 children along with a bag of clothes and other things that can make a child a little happier.
For more information contact Clara Jimerson at cljimerson@ gmail.com.