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Westminster Presbyterian Church Shares Christmas Gift Bags with LCS Families

Published on 10/27/2021
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Jenn Ruebush
Community Outreach Coordinator

Westminster Presbyterian Church on West 13th St. in Wilmington supports a number of local organizations, including LCS. On their website, Westminster gives members ideas for how to serve within the church, locally, and globally. They explain, “Christ commanded his followers to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We believe it is essential to the life of faith to reach out with compassion to those in need, to seek justice for all people and to work for peace in our world.” One example of this is their annual Christmas Box Program. Wilmington gem Retha Fisher started this program around 1980, when she was a social worker at Westminster and worked with others to provide Christmas baskets to Wilmington Housing Authority residents. This year, they plan to serve 120 families throughout Wilmington.

During November and December, Westminster holds a drive to collect items for families who could use a little more “merry” in their lives during challenging times. In the past, this included fixings for a traditional Christmas dinner, homemade goodies, candy, handmade cards, and gifts for children. With COVID, last year they switched to more gift cards for the families to shop at Walmart for food and gifts. This year, each family will receive a ShopRite shopping bag with a ShopRite gift card for food items and a Walmart gift card for gifts for each child (up to age 18 years old). The bag also will have Christmas candy, homemade cookies, and Christmas cards made by the children of Westminster. To foster compassion and engagement in service, Westminster offered its children banks to collect change and allowance to donate toward the gift cards for the Christmas Box Program.

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In the fall, Westminster reaches out to Ms. Jean Washington, our Homelessness Prevention Assistant Program Director. With others at LCS, she identifies 30 families that we serve and submits those names. Once Westminster has the Christmas bags ready, she will pick them up. Around December 15th, LCS staff will deliver the Christmas gifts to our families in time for them to shop.

Holidays can be hard when you are struggling to make ends meet, but knowing others care can make a difference. Thank you to the members of Westminster who feel the holiday spirit and bring a little more joy and peace to those around them!

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