Ten years ago, we started a project called Trinity Shares Christmas (TSC), and over those ten years it has become a much-loved tradition, enabling Trinity members to share Christmas with families who might have some trouble finding joy in the holiday season. One facet of TSC is partnering with Angel Tree Ministries in order to help parents who are incarcerated and who want to stay in communication with, and give gifts to, their children. The other facet is reaching out to our own Trinity families who find themselves in need at Christmas.
Once the names of families are received from Angel Tree and from the ministry staff, the fun begins! The parents or caretakers are contacted, ornaments with gift or food requests are written, the famous TSC tree goes up, and all of the 100+ ornaments are immediately whisked off the tree! Over the next month, gift and food items pile up along with monetary donations. Everything is sorted, bagged for each child, then bagged for each family, and finally delivered. Each child receives two presents and an inspirational activity gift; each family receives a letter of explanation and invitation to Trinity, wrapping paper for the gifts, and (if requested) canned goods and a Publix gift card for a Christmas meal. Angel Tree children also receive a Christmas card with a message from their parent and a Book of Hope provided by Angel Tree. TSC served 12 families – 37 children – this year.
And carrying on the TSC tradition, Trinity’s Garden of Discovery VPK class, taught by Wendy Havens and Jacqui Jones, adopted a family again this year! The children and teachers shared Christmas joy by giving lovingly-wrapped presents, food, and gift cards for this special family – what a wonderful learning experience!