Christmas is months away, but a Ticonderoga church is already planning to help those in need this holiday season.
The Ticonderoga Assembly of God has started its annual “Samaritans Purse” program. The program asks people to fill a shoe box with small gifts to be given to struggling people in poor nations.
“People fill a shoe box with all kinds of stuff — toys, school supplies, flip flops, gloves, pretty much whatever fits in the box goes,” explained Aalyiah Ives of Crown Point, a church member. “We send them all over to help kids who don’t get stuff for Christmas.
“They (children) get so excited when they get their boxes,” she added. “Just imagine never getting anything new before and then you get a box filled with goodies. You’d be excited, right?”
Last year the Ticonderoga Assembly of God distributed 37 shoe boxes filled with gifts. This Christmas the church hopes to have 100.
“Our church is a small church, but it’s filled with lots of love,” Ives said. “I’m asking anyone who would like to help out church put smiles on children’s faces to please feel free to drop off whatever you’d like to donate.”
Donations can be dropped at the church, located on Water Street, 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. any Sunday. Toys associated with violence, such as toy guns, are not accepted.
The church has a list of suggested donations for people who may be uncertain what to include in a shoe box.
“We should be asking how we can help the children of this world who are sick, dying, sleeping on muddy ground, bathing and drinking the same water, kids who don’t get new things,” Ives said. “We should all be thankful that we live in a sorta free country with roofs over our heads and food to eat.
“Please, if you care, which I know a lot of people do, please help us help little kids,” she said.