Skyline Church ‘Giving Tree’ event puts smiles on children’s faces for the holidays

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On Tuesday evening on Dec. 18, Skyline Church located in La Mesa was a buzz of activity. The activity was taking place in the atrium, a large lobby located in the newly built Worship Center, which opened this past March. The lead Pastor is Jim Garlow who has been at Skyline since 1955.

The atrium was beautifully decorated for Christmas. For more than ten years, Skyline Church has given toys to needy families. It was started by Keat Wade of Keat Wade’s Toys. This year in their brand new building the program was called, The Giving Tree.

On Tuesday evening on Dec. 18, Skyline Church located in La Mesa was a buzz of activity. The activity was taking place in the atrium, a large lobby located in the newly built Worship Center, which opened this past March. The lead Pastor is Jim Garlow who has been at Skyline since 1955.

The atrium was beautifully decorated for Christmas. For more than ten years, Skyline Church has given toys to needy families. It was started by Keat Wade of Keat Wade’s Toys. This year in their brand new building the program was called, The Giving Tree.

Eighty-five families in the community signed up for the gift giveaway program, which had 192 children adapted into the program. Skyline Church really came together to make this night very special for many families. The event was very well planned by, Danielle Rundle, the church’s Serve Director and Cynthia Vereen, the church’s serve assistant and Holy Stitches Prayer Quilt Director.

The event was initiated by filling out a card with the person’s name and age, and their requests for toys by individual family. Seventy excited volunteers, including Donna Green, Cindy Sutton, Lonnie Kilcrease, and Midge Kilcrease were all dressed in Christmas Hats waiting for the parents of the children to come in and pick up their children’s gifts. The bags contained gifts, wrapping paper and tape. There were also extra gifts in the atrium, which the parents could take for other children that they knew would not have a Christmas without them.

All the names of the families served were kept confidential. However heartwarming stories were shared. One story involved a nine-year old girl, whose mother had made out her gift request card, which read, “a bed frame and a doll.” When Secret Santa picked up this card he asked, “Does this mean the little girl doesn’t have a bed?”

A quick call from one of the staff to the girl’s mom asked the question. The mom answered, “Just a blanket or comforter will do.” “But does your daughter have a bed?” “No, she sleeps on the floor,” she said. Secret Santa replied, “This Christmas, she will have a bed, even if I have to deliver it myself.”

Another heartwarming story was about a sewing machine. One of the cards read “I need a sewing machine. Secret Santa read this card and said, “I will give this child a sewing machine. My sister died last week and she owned a sewing machine.”

Carolyn Kloss, a volunteer said, “I have been doing this for three years. These families don’t have a place to get toys for their children. I am happy to do it.”

Volunteer Jane Thomas added, “This is the first time I have done the gift give away. It really is worthwhile. They needed help.”

Andine Davenport, another volunteer, concurred, “This is the season to give back for all the blessings we got in life. We are truly blessed.”

This was truly a wonderful heartfelt and much needed event. The Living Tree at Skyline Church made it possible to put smiles on many children’s faces and enabled them and their families to have a Merry Christmas.

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