Every year the ministry’s Christmas for the Children program provides a party and gifts for about 1,000 underprivileged children in Hawkins County.
The fundraising season kicked off Sept. 23 with a scenic motorcycle Toy Run from Rogersville to Church Hill, and then back to Rogersville.
In the past as many as 200 bikes have participated. With 70 bikes in attendance on Sept. 23, turnout was less than organizers had hoped for, and as a result they missed their $4,500 goal by $1,700.
This isn’t the first time OOA has entered the Christmas season without enough funding to meet the demand.
In fact, that’s usually the norm, although OOA director Sheldon Livesay noted that somehow the ministry always manages to serve everyone in need.
“Financial gifts towards Christmas for the Children will help serve all of the people and all of the children in Hawkins County who are not being served by other organizations,” Livesay said. “That literally adds up to about 1,000 children per year.”
Donations can be dropped off at the Shepherd Center in downtown Rogersville or mailed to: Of One Accord, Christmas for the Children, P.O. Box 207, Rogersville, TN 37857.
Christmas for the Children is now taking applications for the upcoming Christmas season.
Program director Jennifer Kinsler will be taking applications Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the program’s Rogersville office located at 103 Brownlow Drive across from the Shepherd’s Center.
Applications are also taken in Church Hill on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. at the Emergency Services Food Pantry located in the Church Hill Shopping Center next to Homestead Antiques.
Applicants need to bring proof of income, proof of current address, proof of eligible children, and correct sizes of children’s clothes and shoes.
Once an interview takes place, children’s names will be placed on different lists for parties throughout the county, and parents will be notified which party they are to attend.
Last year, through partnerships with local churches and eight mission teams, Christmas for the Children helped with 31 parties.
During the parties, families receive a meal during a program that usually involves live entertainment.
Following the program, each child receives wrapped gifts to take home and place under the tree.
Livesay said every child who is eligible will be served.
The deadline for signups is Nov. 16.