NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Christmas Blessings in Nacogdoches ended late Thursday afternoon.
The free shopping event for parents and guardians never fails to meet its goal. Volunteers can go home knowing they met a community need.
"Alright Fredrick," Lou Ann Jones, a Christmas Blessings volunteer told a child. "We're going to go down to the big boys table down here."
Jones led Fredrick Strange on a shopping trip for his 12-year-old son.
"Which one of these tables?" Strange asked.
"You can choose anything off this one or the next one," Jones said. "The next one might be a little young."
Volunteers assisted, but each qualified applicant did their own shopping.
"We want them to have some dignity and we want them to be able to choose for their children," said Laura Williford, the coordinator of Christmas Blessings.
"Y'all have come through for the family that is in need and I just thank God that he blessed families to get what the need for their kids," Strange said.
Some volunteers go beyond Christmas Blessings. Susie Martin added prayer stations.
"We're telling each person as they come in if they would like someone to visit with them, to pray with them, we would be happy to," said Susie Martin, a Christmas Blessings volunteer.
Jones wanted to gather up sleepwear for children, so she had a pajama party.
"The purpose of it was to bring pajamas for children who needed them for Love INC," Jones said. "We had about 36 pair of pajamas I brought."
It's the kind of generosity that put a very tired Love INC director back into the Christmas spirit.
"I thought, you know, 'I was just kinda, I'm just worn out and not having fun,'" said Patti Goodrum, Love INC's director. "And I show up here this morning and all of that's gone."
Giving can help those in need and those who provide.
This is the fourth year non-profits, churches, and service agencies have collaborated to make Christmas Blessings a reality. The goal is to prevent duplication of services.
The Junior Forum and Love In the Name of Christ are lead sponsors for the event.