Central Christian Church of Dallas (Disciples of Christ) has been playing “Santa” for a local elementary school for the past five years.
Placing a tree decorated with “angels” in strategic areas of the building, church members and friends were encouraged to take an “angel” and fill the requests of children from an area, low-income, DISD school— Maple Lawn Elementary.
Maple Lawn is located on Inwood Road, just south of Cedar Springs in Dallas. The school is 86 percent Hispanic. The percentage of students on free and reduced lunch assistance (97.6%) at the school is significantly higher than the state average of 63.8%. This figure indicates that the area has a higher level of poverty than the state average, making the school a choice recipient of Central’s community outreach.
This year, the number of children benefiting from the program and receiving Christmas gifts reached new heights with the youthful enthusiasm of Amethyst Kelly, Central’s 2017 intern, who headed up the program. One hundred and twenty financially-at-risk children will wake up Christmas morning believing in Santa, (double last year’s number) through the help of Central and the Grace of God.
Many people chose to give money rather than purchases so Amethyst along with a few members went shopping to fill the requests.
Long-time member, Jayne Hawley, was one of those helpers— shopping until she dropped.
“I’ve followed a 20 year old around town to Target and other retail stores for two days making sure all requests were complete, and I’m tired,” Jayne said last Saturday.
After shopping and unloading all the purchases, the women began the task of sorting and packaging, filling the individual Christmas lists.
It was all worth the effort Wednesday morning when members, along with Central’s pastor, Rev. Dr. Ken Crawford, loaded Wendell and Suzie Patterson’s van and delivered the toys to Maple Lawn.
Parents will pick up the tagged bags, storing them in Santa’s workshop until Christmas Eve.
Merry Christmas to all and all are welcome at Central Christian Church!