Richardson church throws a Christmas party for more than 300 local families
Hundreds of low income families started lining up outside The Heights Baptist Church in Richardson hours before the doors would open December 17th for the annual Three Trees event. Even though every family had a reservation, they were excited to choose a gift for each of their children.
Volunteers of all ages entertained the children with games, face painting and balloon animals while their parents waited for the doors to open. A team of photographers took family photos, which the family received in a frame their children decorated before they left the church that evening.
“Our entire church body looks forward to this event every year,” said Richard Covington, missions pastor at The Heights. “Members of every age get involved in many different aspects from selecting gifts for children, to wrapping gifts, taking pictures, entertaining our guests, and sharing the gospel. We are here to help our community during difficult times and to be light and hope when the days may feel hopeless.”
For the 11th consecutive year, The Heights hosted 300 North Dallas and Richardson families who are struggling to make ends meet. The children were led to age-appropriate classrooms for an afternoon of games, crafts and snacks while their parents selected a new toy for each of their children. Heights members donated hundreds of toys, games and clothes from which the families could choose. In addition to the Christmas presents, each child received a gift card for a new pair of shoes, as well as a gift card to buy their family Christmas dinner.
The gifts were taken to the Elf Workshop where volunteers wrapped the presents while the families enjoyed a Christmas service in either English or Spanish.
Over the past decade, The Heights members have donated more than $550,000 worth of toys and gift cards for the Three Trees event. But more importantly, 2,650 families… more than 7,000 children… have benefited from the love and generosity of more than 6,000 volunteers.
Three Trees was named after a book that traces the significance of three trees in the life of Jesus: from one that was fashioned into a trough that held the baby Jesus in the manger; to a tree that was turned into a fishing boat; and the third tree that became a cross. The “Three Trees” story reminds us that even when things do not seem to be going our way, God has a perfect plan for us. More at https://bible.org/illustration/story-three-trees
The community is invited to The Heights candlelight Christmas Eve services at 10:50 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, December 24.
Founded in 1956, The Heights is located at 201 W. Renner Road at US-75. More info at theheights.org.