Local youth with warm hearts have teamed up again this year to hold their second annual winter drive while many children are busy preparing their Christmas lists for Santa.
Instead, these three Durant children are sharing their big and generous hearts by truly teaching others what they have learned from studying the life of Jesus. In Acts 20:35 the disciple Luke says, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” In the gospel of Luke, he also talks about giving a fest and inviting the poor because you will be blessed as they cannot repay you. Hebrews 13:16 says, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
Elisabeth Presley and siblings Jack and Blair Burrage kicked off their second annual Winter Drive on Monday, November 28. Last year, they collected and gave away 625 items which in turn blessed an estimated 175-200 local families. Most items were gone within the first hour. For 2017, they want to more than double that number with a goal of 1,500 items to be collected and given away.
The drive will end on Friday, December 15, so start cleaning out those closets. Items being collected are new or gently used coats, shoes, hats, scarves, gloves, and new socks. All sizes are needed. Distribution will occur on Monday, December 18. at the annual Families Feeding Families Christmas Dinner. Time and location have not yet been determined.
Here is a message received about last year’s successful drive: “Hello, my name is ***. Last year, I went to the coat and shoe drive and got a coat and shoes for my neighbors. I was on my way to the store to buy them myself, but I received a message about the drive before I got to the store. My family and I decided to share what we had with our neighbors in need. When I got the coats and shoes for the kids, I just thought, ‘I have this money left so I can get food for the family.’ They were so thankful for all the things. The expression on their face was priceless. God is good all the time. Thank you again for doing the drive and to continue to help the ones in need physically and spirituality. Hopefully I made sense. I tried to type as my heart was full of emotions and tried not to cry. Thanks again and God bless you.”
Thank you to these local businesses who have agreed to be drop-off locations: Victory Life Church Accounting, Burrage Law Firm, All About Smiles, Durant Intermediate School, Northwest Heights, The Nutrition Hub, Bliss Boutique, Donald W. Reynolds Library, Texoma Home Center in Calera, Hoyte Chrysler Durant, Twisted Scissors, Dr. Whittington / Dr. Hensley’s office, Dash-B Boutique and Rayzor Blades. If your business would like to participate and be a drop-off spot, please contact either Tracey Presley or Heather Burrage.
Jack says his idea for a shoe drive came from his own love for shoes as he thought about what to do with all the pairs he had outgrown. That thought was transformed into Kicks for Durant. This year, sister Blair had the idea to add on socks to go with the shoes.
Elisabeth’s idea for a coat drive started with her 11th birthday party last year which had the theme of Christmas and Giving. She asked her friends to bring a coat and at the end of her party, she collected the coats and then challenged each of her friends to do a Random Act of Kindness. Each child received a sealed envelope with instructions and supplies to carry this out before Christmas.
Elisabeth, age 11, is a 6th grader at Victory Life Academy and is the daughter of Tracey Presley of Durant and Major Taylor Presley of Wiesbaden, Germany. Jack Burrage, also age 11, is a 6th grader at Durant Intermediate School. His sister Blair Burrage, age 8, is a 3rd grader at Northwest Heights Elementary. Their parents are David and Heather Burrage of Durant.
I think all of us adults can learn a thing or two from these young children by opening our own eyes and hearts to see and meet the great need that is here in our community. Merry Christmas!
Submitted by Tracey Presley of Victory Life Church Accounting.