This Praise Ministries International, of Cartersville, Ga., will be hosting a Christmas giveaway beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday at the James A. Cawood Elementary School (JACES) gymnasium in Harlan.
“They will be bringing in tractor trailer loads of items to be given away, along with approximately 300 volunteers,” said JACES Principal John Carter. “They did this several years ago here and then went to Bell County. They have decided to return to the Harlan County area again this year. This event is open to everyone.”
Praise Ministries International began in 1995 and their first giveaway was in Majestic where they had the backseat and trunk of their car filled with new and used items to give away.
“As a matter of fact, we went to this same area twice in the same month. We were alone on our first trip, just Larry and I,” Linda Woodson said. “We have worked all through the following years and blessed those who are less fortunate than most of us. We have encountered the elderly, who many times do not get the medications that they need because the funds that they have are needed for food and utilities. Many of the children do not have the clothing that they need for warmth in the winter months. Most of them only eat what the schools provide during school hours. The need is great year round in these areas.”
The ministry began with new and used items. However they now receive donations of new coats, shoes, hat and gloves, toys, clothing, bicycles and boxes of food.
“We have given away bicycles each Christmas by ticket drawings. We have to do that because we never have enough bicycles to go around for all the children,” she said “Many times, there are not enough toys to go around for each child to enjoy a new toy. But, our day is not complete until everything has been given away. Larry and I are just two people who want to be instruments used by the hand of God. He told us to be faithful and that is what we’re doing.”
For more information, you may call 606-573-5029.