New Mexico Church Gives Away 5,000 Toys to Kids in Need: 'God Is Generous'
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A church in New Mexico recently provided nearly 2,500 at-risk children Christmas gifts this holiday season.
Calvary Church kicked off its annual toy giveaway on Monday to share the real reason for the Christmas season.
"We are tangibly showing the love of our Savior to people, which is what it's all about," said Pastor Skip Heitzig. "It's a good time to give to people and to show them there's a God in heaven who knows them by name and individually. It's our privilege to do this."
More than 16,000 people attend services at the church whose mission is "creating life change."
Church members generously donated or purchased 5,000 toys for the event, allowing 2,500 children to receive two gifts each to enjoy this Christmas.
"Generosity helps to activate our faith," Heitzig said in one message. "When we are generous we are actively practicing our faith because we are laying it on the line and it's also one of the obvious signs that we are children of God. It's a family resemblance – like Father, like Son."
He added, "God is generous by nature."
The toy drive at Calvary Church has been an annual Christmas tradition since 2014. Like many Calvary Church community outreach efforts, the toy drive serves children who attend Title I-funded schools in the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) district. In order to receive Title I designation, schools must be identified as serving 50 percent or higher economically disadvantaged students.
Families learned about the toy drive last month at the Calvary Church Thanksgiving Pickup Party where they were invited to pick up a free Thanksgiving meal for their families as well as receive free haircuts, family photos, and medical and dental screenings.
The church has also raised more than $250,000 to help food-insecure children and families.
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