Thursday, December 26, 2013
Children who have little received Christmas presents this year thanks to the efforts of five Goose Creek churches.
Members of Goose Creek United Methodist, Immaculate Conception Catholic, St. Timothy Lutheran, Charleston Korean United Methodist and St. James United Methodist joined hands to purchase presents for more than 240 local students through an effort called “The Angel Tree Ministry.”
More than 90 families whose students attend Boulder Bluff Elementary, Devon Forest Elementary, Sedgefield Intermediate, Howe Hall Elementary and Goose Creek Primary schools received gifts.
“We get the names of students in need from the guidance counselor,” Goose Creek UMC Pastor Debra Dowdle said. “Each child puts on the form what they would like for Christmas. The congregation picks a name tag (first name only) from the tree.”
Then they make sure the student receives that gift.
On Dec. 16 teachers and guidance counselors delivered the presents from Goose Creek UMC to their school. The gifts include 29 bicycles.
Patsy Kersey and Susan Rhyne were in charge of coordinating the Angel Tree. Their husbands assembled the bicycles.
“We have a lot of good people in Goose Creek,” Kersey said.
In October she sent the letters to each school guidance counselor. The donations were all in by Dec. 8, Kersey said. Some gifts on the list are added to so they’ll be more special.
“We try to keep it to 12 years old and younger,” Kersey said.
The Angel Tree has been going on for at least 20 years, according to Dowdle.
“The guidance counselors are just thrilled that their kids are going to be taken care of,” Dowdle said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
The Goose Creek Clergy Association, made up of 44 churches in Goose Creek, works with the churches to make the effort a reality.
Working with numerous churches creates a bigger impact than just one church, Dowdle said.
“That’s our goal, to get more and more involved with each other,” Dowdle said. “That way we can do more and more.”