NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Christmas is a stressful time for people from all levels of income, but particularly for those with little or no income. Christmas Shared Blessings in Nacogdoches is trying to help ease some of that stress.
This year, a record number of 500 children will receive gifts under the tree through Christmas Shared Blessings. Israel Stegalll is a first-time shopper.
“We’ve been looking for your visit today,” one volunteer said to Stegall.
Love In the Name of Christ is empowering parents by allowing them to shop for their children. No already packed toy bags are handed out at the event held at the Nacogdoches County Exposition Center.
No one knows better than Israel what her children like.
“He’s a truck guy. He’s not hard to please,” Israel said as she picks up a toy truck for her young son.
The gifts are a hand up, not a hand out. Israel, like so many clients, has a job. But she is going through a tough transition following a recent move.
“It’s not like I’m out here on the street. Sometimes people who do work, they do struggle,” Israel said.
The toys are purchased through community donations. The clients are screened for their need. Love INC’s volunteers try to make it a joyous occasion.
Christmas carols play in the background, while trees and bikes are given away through a drawing.
One gift won’t be wrapped. It’s the spiritual fulfillment. Pastors provide prayers of encouragement. Their faith that things will get better often bring tears. It did for Israel.
It’s very overwhelming," Israel said. “It’s very stressful, but now, with the help of Love INC, it’s given me a lift and a weight off my shoulders.”
And that's the gift Love INC really wants to provide.
Christmas Shared Blessings requires a pre-application. Clients who need to participate next year should contact Love In the Name of Christ in Nacogdoches for an interview.