It's hard to imagine that while most kids in the United States will wake up to half a dozen or more gifts Christmas morning, thousands more won't have even one. But in a five-hour period, nearly 4,000 needy children will line up to receive a toy-a toy that will likely be the only gift they get this season.
Tis the season for giving and the Rock Church, together with five area churches, is hosting its ninth annual "Toys for Joy" Christmas outreach. The event will take place December 16 from 5-10 PM at Iglesia Evangelica Bethel (Bethel Church) in National City, 1200 E. 8th St.
Make a Child Smile this Season
Bless a needy child with a gift this Christmas season
Join the Rock in putting a smile on the face of a child in need. For the price of two cups of Starbucks coffee, you could make Christmas a special day for one child.
"Every child makes a Christmas list, but not every child gets a toy," said director of the event, John Martinez.
This is a time that the members of the Rock church can rise up as a body of believers and touch the lives of children with a simple act of giving. It is a time to come together as a community and reach forgotten children.
"Our prayer is that if every person who calls the Rock their church would give one present, we would always have abundance," said Martinez.
An Event Not to Miss
The event will enable members of the Rock church to bless thousands of needy children in San Diego who will come out for a toy gift, but will also get the gift of the gospel, the "Good News" of Jesus Christ.
"This is about giving and not getting anything back," said Martinez.
Thousands will turn out and thousands will hear the true Christmas message. After the message, kids will line up, choose one toy and then stay for the festivities. Each person will get four tickets for the event for a choice of food from host food vendors such as Rally Burgers, Dominoes Pizza and Pat & Oscar's. There will also be chili bowls, cotton candy, hot chocolate, kettle corn, nachos, hot dogs and refreshments. A fun zone will keep the kids laughing and playing, while more than 200 volunteers minister to their families through love and kindness.
Guests will also enjoy two stages of live entertainment. One stage will host music performances by Rachel Reed, Saint Steven's Choir, Mickey Martinez, Godkinz, Eddie Berto Hernandez and Laura Silva. A second stage will host mime performances by Youth in Action and two musical dramas.
Throughout the event, the church will raffle larger gifts like bikes, pogo sticks and guitars.
This is a special time for loving and giving in a community that is often forgotten during this busy season. In sharing of our resources, we also share the love of Christ. And it shows.
"These lives are touched. People don't want to leave the event because they are the guests of honor. They feel the love of Christ and they hear the Word of God," said Martinez.
Many children will accept Christ as their savior at this year's event
There have been nearly 1,500 toys collected thus far and from a church body of nearly 6,000. If every person gave just one toy, the goal will not only be reached but surpassed. There's a current need for children's toys for children ages infant to four years old and 11 to 13. There are donation locations throughout the county at: the Rock Church, the Rock offices in Point Loma, any Banner Mattress location, any Bally Total Fitness location and Point Loma Credit Union.
You can donate at any one of these donation locations until Thursday, December 15. After that, please take any toy donations to the Rock Church, the Rock offices or to the actual event.
Just as the Lord fed 5,000, we know he will bless these 4,000 children and provide beyond what we could ask. But be a part of that awesome blessing; give just one toy and change the season for a needy child.