By Brad Thompson
St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church in Zionsville and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lebanon teamed up last month to provide Christmas gifts to all 462 children at the Hattie B. Stokes Elementary School in Lebanon.
The giveaway was the result of six months of gathering items, ranging from practical items like soap, toothpaste, hats and mittens, to fun items including dolls, crayons and toy trucks. The gift bags also included books.
Parishioners of both churches donated the items. The Zionsville church conducted a Pumpkin Patch sale during October to raise money toward the project.
The gifts were sorted into age-appropriate bags for kindergarten through fifth-grade students, then divided into boys and girls categories. Children at the churches wrote kind messages on the bags containing the gifts.
Church volunteers packed the bags into cars and drove to the school about an hour before the kids were dismissed for Christmas break. With the help of school staff, volunteers distributed the gift bags to the kids in their classrooms.
The churches do this to promote the love of Christ and to ensure that everyone receives something special for Christmas.