MINOT — As the joy of the Christmas season approaches, so does awareness of those in need.
Journey Church Assembly of God is hosting its fourth annual Christmas Mall to allow struggling parents to come and shop for gifts for their children.
Each year the organizers of the event contact area school counselors to help identify families who may benefit from the Christmas Mall, and then they reach out to those families and ask them to register for the event.
“Every parent’s biggest joy at Christmas is watching their kids open their presents.” Dan Dangerfield, pastor of Journey Church
“When the students get [the gifts], we want them to be from their mom and dad, from grandma and grandpa,” said Dan Dangerfield, pastor of Journey Church. “Every parent’s biggest joy at Christmas is watching their kids open their presents.”
Many of the gifts are donated from local businesses. “We have a lot of businesses in the area that help sponsor the event by giving financially or picking up gifts,” said Amanda Jost, co-coordinator.
Now in its fourth year, the Christmas Mall has more than doubled in its outreach since it began. “We had 160 [kids shopped for] three years ago,” said Jamie Shwartz, co-coordinator. “This year we have 375 kids that are being shopped for.”
“I love it, because we get to just bless families with the Christmas spirit and the love of Christ.” Kayla Maedche, Journey Church staff member
The church has about 50-70 volunteers helping out this year. Many of them expressed their love of the work that they do. “I love it, because we get to just bless families with the Christmas spirit and the love of Christ,” said Kayla Maedche, Journey Church staff member.
“I grew up in a family that would have needed a ministry like this,” said Sara Dangerfield, volunteer gift wrapper. “It’s just a way for me to give back.”
This year’s Christmas Mall is taking place for registered families Dec. 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Journey Church, which is located at 1805 2nd St SE in Minot. Anyone interested in being involved with next year’s event can contact the church at 701-838-1111.