Donors, churches ‘making spirits bright’

January 7, 2020


Supporters and friends of Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries are making sure Christmas is a little brighter for children and teens in care.

Many generous donors and Arkansas Baptist churches from around the state have stepped up to purchase gifts, throw Christmas parties and make Christmas wishes come true.

“Christmas is a special time of the year because our kids and families get to see a clear picture of God’s love through the generosity of our stakeholders,” shared Derek Brown, executive director of Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries.

On Dec. 7, a group of pre-teens, parents and staff of Geyer Springs First Baptist Church of Little Rock traveled to the Monticello Baptist Home for their yearly Christmas Party. The fifth and sixth graders played games and fellowshipped with children and teens. Each Baptist Home child and houseparent child received three gifts from church members.

Members of Second Baptist Church of Jacksonville presented each Baptist Home child a monetary gift Dec. 13. This is at least the 30th year church members have donated Christmas gifts to The Baptist Home. A group of Central Baptist Church of Jonesboro treated Baptist Home kids to an outing to the movie theater Dec. 14 and cooked breakfast for each family home.

The Jonesboro Family Care Home had special guests Dec. 10 from Central Baptist Church of Jonesboro and the North Pole! Residents enjoyed gifts from Santa and gifts donated by Central Baptist members.

Miss Arkansas High School Rodeo Queen Sadie Biggs held a toy drive for the littlest kids at the Baptist Ranch and delivered them Dec. 9. Other Harrison area churches, First Baptist Church of Rogers and supporters donated gifts.

In Fort Smith, Eastside Baptist church donated Christmas gift cards and goodie bags for all Connected foster children, while Greenwood Baptist Church donated gift cards for all foster families. Trinity, Temple, Cornerstone and Grand Avenue Baptist church members filled Christmas wish lists for gifts for the kids. Union Grove Baptist Church of Clarksville packed 12 backpacks full of items for Connected foster children.

On Dec. 20, Connected staff hosted a Christmas party for foster families in Fort Smith. Santa stopped by for a visit.

The Springdale Family Care Home Christmas party and Hot Cocoa Bar was Dec. 20. Kids opened gifts made possible by donations from the Life Builder’s  Sunday Class of New Hope Fellowship Church, Springdale; a local neighborhood association and the deacon body from First Baptist Church of Fayetteville.

In addition, members of the Northwest Arkansas Faith Riders Motorcycle club dropped off gifts for kids Dec. 21​.

Brenda Doughty, a caseworker at the Springdale Family Care Home, said she and the families are humbled and blessed by the support. “We are very fortunate for the generosity and kindness of churches and the community,” said Doughty. “They not only give materially and financially to our moms and children, but they also pray for them.

“So many people have similar situations in their own lives, and they are committed to blessing others in ways they have been blessed, she added.

Christmas morning will also be special for kids at the Little Rock Family Care Home, thanks to the Arkansas Baptist Foundation (ABF). Instead of hosting their annual Christmas party for supporters and donors, ABF staff members went Christmas shopping for Family Care Home kids. ABF staff purchased several gifts requested by the kids.

Sylvan Hills First Baptist Church of Sherwood and Natural Steps Baptist Church of Little Rock donated hundreds of pajamas this Christmas. They will be distributed to all agency locations. More than $1,100 was donated by Crystal Hill Baptist Church of Little Rock.