In its 30th year, Hawkins' Christmas for the Children tops 1,200 for the first time

Jeff Bobo • Dec 25, 2018 at 7:30 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County's army of elves have done their job for 2018, making Christmas a little brighter for a record number of children through the Of One Accord ministry's "Christmas for the Children" program.

A record 1,212 children participated in 36 Christmas parties this month which were either sponsored by the ministry itself, or by partnering organizations, churches and mission teams that "adopted" children.

That's up from the 967 children served by CFTC.

In its 30th year, CFTC has become the county-wide Christmas program for Hawkins County screening and serving families from Mooresburg to Mount Carmel.

Program director Jennifer Kinsler said she is grateful for the local contributions that this year’s CFTC a success, as well as 26 local churches and organizations that took names and hosted parties for these children.

"Without your generous donations this year, we could never have been able to insure every child in the county who turned in applications on time would be served," Kinsler said. "Shop till you drop has taken on an all new meaning for me and the several volunteers who has shopped for these children."

After the 26 churches and organizations received their children's names from the 1,212 applicants, several hundred names were left over.

While Kinsler was shopping for the additional children, mission teams from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Middle Tennessee and Kentucky assisted by wrapping gifts and host parties.

Ten CFTC parties were sponsored by these mission teams from out of the area.

Kinsler also applauded the efforts of the Cherokee Beta Club which purchased gifts for one of the first parties.

She noted, "It takes the whole community coming together to make it happen, but individuals and groups have stepped up this year and we can celebrate because we were able to serve every application with your help.”

Families that meet the income requirments for the CFTC program are invited to attend a party where there is a meal for their family, entertainment, and then each family receives wrapped gifts to take home to place under their tree.

In addition to the clothing and toy items provided directly through local contributions,

The Carrollton, Ga. Baptist Association contributed 1,120 backpacks to CFTC which were filled with school supplies and other small gifts.

Americans Helping Americans provided blankets for every family, as well as winter coats, hats, scarves and mittens for children needing those items.

One Accord Ministry director Sheldon Livesay said Christmas season is his favorite time of year.

Livesay noted that at least 130 parents and children prayed to receive Christ this year during a CFTC party this year.