The Christmas Season is normally a happy time for children. However this year, it became obvious that Super Storm Sandy destroyed chances for a “normal” Christmas for many children of Union Beach and Keansburg, New Jersey. Their homes had been destroyed or crippled, so thoughts of gifts were buried by the reality of brutal storm damage.
In Mid November as the destruction of Sandy made headlines, four churches from Huntsville AL, South Carolina, and Eastern Pennsylvania contacted ABCNJ and First Baptist Church of Red Bank with offers to help. They began to gather, wrap, and finally ship close to 500 pounds of Christmas toys and clothing to us. Each gift was wrapped in brightly colored Christmas paper with bows, and labeled to show they were suitable for boy or girl and the estimated age group. The Sunday afternoon before Christmas was the appointed day of Gifting. The high winds off of the ocean made that day seem particularly harsh. In spite of the gusty cold, Sr. Pastor Ty Choate and his wife Janine from Red Bank’s First Baptist Church joined with men representing various American Legion groups to put a lot of warm smiles on young faces. Two more church friends, Lee and Angie joined the gift supply line to keep it filled and flowing. For everyone there, those cold moments proved to be an unforgettable day of warm love, happiness, and hope found within scenes of haunting destruction. Submitted by Lee Brewer, FBC Red Bank