Gifts delivered around area
Around 200 Christmas gifts were delivered to approximately 60 families in the Prairie Central school district Tuesday morning thanks to the efforts of those involved in the First Presbyterian Church’s Giving Tree ministry.
“We have a lot of really wonderful donations from the greater Fairbury community to support this fund,” said church mission committee member Bill Fugate.
The church has sponsored the effort for a number of years now with donations from members of the community, businesses and other churches. In the past, they mostly signed up families through the Fairbury food pantry but decided to expand it to all of the pantries in the Prairie Central area this year.
“Once the families are signed-up, we put an ornament for each child on a Christmas tree,” explained church member and committee chair Pat Small. “Usually, that’s done in our church.”
Since members of First Presbyterian are not worshiping in person, it has been difficult for people to come in and take an ornament so an online signup began. Once an ornament has been selected, the church recommends $50 per child. Those shopping for children spend $25 for a clothing or shoe item and the remainder goes toward a toy.
“For the older children, sometimes we end up telling the person who purchased the ornament that a gift card would be okay,” added Small.
The church even provides designated shoppers if the donors wish. The effort is supported by the time, talents and money of many volunteers. Any donations are used toward ornaments or supplies for the next year.
“We have had tremendous response from all of the Prairie Central communities,” Small noted.
Jay Walter was among the many church members loading packages to be delivered on Tuesday, preparing to do some deliveries. He feels this is a worthwhile cause.
“I’m glad we do it,” Walter admitted.
Below are some more photos from Tuesday morning at the First Presbyterian Church before volunteers went out to deliver gifts.