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Christmas Gifts for Migrant Workers’ Children in Florida

James Olinger

We live in Homestead, Florida, where a large amount of migrant workers live in different communities and work in outlying farms and nurseries. Most are from Mexico and Central America. These communities are usually linked to different local and national social services to help them with housing, education, children needs, etc. Each Christmas we have tried to target a different community. Our foundation has been presenting the Christmas story and the salvation prayer aimed chiefly at a children’s level. Early in the year Joy (my wife) had been attending a meeting where different communities solicit help from organizations for gifts for the children. One community had not received help in quite some time, so in November we made arrangements to visit the community and see what we could do. We want to thank Activated Ministries for donating almost 300 children’s Christmas magazines and 15 multi-language Christmas Treasure Attic DVDs for the event.

This year we held our Christmas party at the Harvest Center housing community for 110 children. After going to the community several times, we put together a list of families; breaking down their children’s ages. One of our faithful donors bought most of the toys, others helped with funds to buy gift cards for the teens, and others sponsored the snacks for the people. Our friends at Miami Family Missions provided clowns and staffers for the event.

We started out the event with our clowns making balloons and painting the children’s faces. From there, the show started with the clowns sharing the Christmas story using puppets, carols, and a large flannel graph. We ended the story with a prayer for salvation for all the children. Then we played a question and answer game, with DVDs given to the winners. Afterwards, people lined up for a snack and the Activated magazines were given to the children. At the end of our visit, we handed out Christmas gifts to the children’s parents.

It was a great day for everyone; the children, their parents, and the organizers as well. We ended the day exhausted but thrilled at how thankful the children were for the gifts and attention we had given them. It’s always a joy and privilege to share what we have with those in need, and we’re very grateful to Activated Ministries for the big part you played in making this day a success.