Youth group shares time, blessings with community

Published 5:51 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The youth of Rocky Mount United Methodist Church in Jemison live out the lessons they learn at church in their community every Christmas.

This group of about 17-20 children has helped supply Christmas gifts for local, less fortunate families for about five years now.

“It’s something that the kids are real hands-on with,” said Youth Director Connie Powell. “It’s something that they really look forward to every year.”

Powell said church leaders and members come together and choose a different family to sponsor each year based on their needs.

“We have a variety of ways that we choose a family,” Powell said. “It’s not any one person’s decision.”

Powell tries to arrange for someone from the church, along with several youths, to meet the chosen family and get the family’s wish list.

Starting in September, the group helps raise money for the gifts by selling raffle tickets for a king- or queen-sized quilt made by church member Allegra Parker Glasscock. Raffle tickets are $2 each.

“It’s become really big,” Powell said of the raffle. “People know it’s coming. It becomes a competition. People want to win this quilt.”

The group also participates in the shopping, wrapping and delivery of the gifts.

“On top of that, we also have Santa come in every year at Christmastime,” Powell said. “We generally try to include the family that we’ve adopted and their children to come and be a part of the Santa program. We’ve had really good success with it in the past.”

Items the group has given to families in the past are toys, clothes, household items, food, gift cards, movie tickets and bicycles.

“We try not only to make sure the children of the families have stuff, but we also try to do stuff for the adults so that everybody is involved,” Powell said. “We try to give them not only what they need, but something fun.”

Raffle tickets may be purchased from any church member. The drawing for this year’s quilt is scheduled for Dec. 18.

Another project for the group this fall is assembling care packages for soldiers and sending them out before Christmas.

The entire church collects food and donates it to the Son Light Center, a homeless shelter.

For more information, call Rocky Mount United Methodist Church at (205) 688-2204.