On Tuesday of this week the staff of First Baptist Church got together to stuff stockings for kids who might not otherwise have any. It’s part of a program Steve Blanchard calls “Operation J.O.Y.” Steve explains it like this:
Every day, thousands in the Richmond area find themselves without basic necessities. However, during the Christmas season that need seems to magnify. With the emphasis on giving and having, many people’s needs become more poignant. We want to offer you some practical ways to help those less fortunate. As you are blessed, bless others and may everyone, rich and poor, have a very Merry Christmas.
Buy a new gift for a child or teenager and bring it to Steve Blanchard’s office or place it around the shopping carts in the main hallway (you may also wish to give cash or gift cards to Target or Wal-Mart and someone else will do the shopping).
a. For a donation of $50.00, you can sponsor a child in residence at the Rosey Grier Youth Pavilion.
b. For a donation of $25.00, you can provide a welcoming bag of supplies for a homeless individual. (Please direct all donations to Steve Blanchard and earmark them “Operation J.O.Y.” Checks made payable to First Baptist Church)
c. You can also donate the following items: Men’s underwear (any size), Men’s white crew socks, Children’s shoe’s (any size), Men’s boots (any size), Backpacks, $5.00 Gift Cards to Kroger, McDonalds, Subway, CVS, or Hardees, or $20.00 Gift Cards to Wal-Mart.
Place all donations (except gift cards) either in carts located in main hallway or in Steve Blanchard’s office. Gift cards can be put in Steve’s staff mailbox.
Attend one of the Christmas parties we are giving in honor of those we are privileged to serve. During these parties, we will provide not only good fellowship but also a Christmas store, where parents may shop with dignity. We need help serving, childcare, transportation, shopping assistance, and hospitality.
a. Fresh Start for Single Moms. Sunday, December 9 at 4:30pm
b. Anderson Memorial Breakfast for the Homeless. Monday, December 17 at 9:30am
c. Mixteca Christmas Party. Saturday, December 22 at 1:00pm
Donate to local charities and FBC partners like Richmond Friends of the Homeless, Peter Paul Development Center, Area Congregations Together in Service (ACTS), or International Justice Mission. Make checks payable directly to your chosen organization and either mail directly or give to Steve Blanchard.
For more information, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve told us on Tuesday that First Baptist is helping 600 families through this program this year. What a wonderful way to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond, Virginia!
After stuffing stockings, we stuffed ourselves with some Famous Dave’s BBQ, and then got a little silly, as the video below demonstrates (just so you’ll know, the challenge was to blow up eight balloons, stuff them into the legs of a pair of pantyhose, put it on someone’s head, and sing “Jingle Bells.” No alcohol was involved. Still not sure which team actually won).
Ah, the staff of First Baptist Church. There’s nothing they won’t do to bring a little Christmas joy to others.