CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – At Freedom Church in Carrollton, they celebrated this Christmas Eve by sharing the spirit of Christmas.
During the late afternoon service, the church’s lead pastor, Kendall Bridges asked parishioners a question that best summed up what he was about to announce, “Do you know why we give? Because God gave.”
Pastor Bridges told the crowd of more than 700 that their church was giving a total of $100,000 to a dozen charitable organizations and five families in need.
“We just want them to know they’re not alone, they’re not by themselves, they have somebody standing with them and that’s what we want them to know this Christmas,” said Bridges.
Among the families who received clothing and gifts, Ruthie Watson, has been raising three of her grand-daughters ages 11, 13, and 15 because their mother couldn’t.
“Stepping up and taking care of these children, thank you, thank you, thank you,” said Bridges as he gave Watson a hug.
Afterwards, Watson was grateful. “I think it’s wonderful – that was just great,” she said.
She said while it’s a challenge caring for her grand-daughters, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I thank God because he has blessed me with trying to raise these three girls to the best of my knowledge,” said Watson. “It’s hard, it’s not easy.”
The gifts her family and two others received came from Family First, which received $10,000 dollars from Freedom Church.
Family First helps take children in the foster care system and place them with relatives.
Bishop Aaron Blake helped develop the group as part of the North Texas chapter of the Assemblies of God church.
“Get them into loving, Christian homes to where they can be loved and cared for,” said Blake. “Then wrap around these families that are trying, these kinship families, these grandmas, aunties, who are really trying without any support.”
Blake said Family First helps the churches support the families.
“Having a wrap-around support of a church family and others helps fill the gaps when just love is not enough,” said Blake.
Freedom Church started doing this two years ago, when they realized they had about $52,000 in extra money from their missions and outreach and they wanted to do something special.
Now, it’s part of their permanent celebration of Christmas.
“We want to continue that spirit of giving by blessing others and helping others and giving some hope this Christmas season,” said Bishop.