JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - For the third year in a row, the First United Methodist Church held their Christmas Emporium where many needy families throughout Jonesboro had a chance to shop at the event to make Christmas possible for their children.
Families got in for $5.00 per child and were given a $50 voucher to shop for the gifts.
"We take care of pre-qualified children in the Jonesboro and Nettleton school districts and go through their counselors at their schools to seek out the need," said Melissa Phillips, the coordinator of the event.
Phillips said this year, they had over $15,000 worth of gifts with around 300 children to give them to.
"These donations of gifts or monetary donations come from members of the church so that we can make a happy Christmas possible for as many families as we can," said Phillips.
Kathy Owens is one of many parents who went shopping for their children, and she said words could not express how thankful she is for the church.
"I just really want to cry," said Owens. "I know I got good stuff for my children as far as learning stuff, dolls. Stuff I couldn't afford because of bills and stuff."
Owens said she is also happy other families could benefit from this event as well.
"They were able to be able to get gifts for the kids, and I am happy for the ones that really needed it," said Owens. "Personally Myself. But I feel good, and I am thankful. Blessed"
Phillips said she feels this event is very positive for the community during this time of year.
"The parents just get to be a part of it," said Phillips. "Instead of just being handed a bag like 'here you go,' they got to come in here and shop just like they would go to Walmart and shop only they got to do it for 5 dollars."
Phillips also said she feels this event is a blessing to them just as much as it is to the families.
"It is all about making Christmas enjoyable for kids and showing the love of Jesus Christ to the community," said Phillips.
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