The joy of giving

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 25, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

“For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good.” (Mark 14: 7)

Members of the Non-profit Organization for Economic Development (NOED) had that in mind when they started their organization two years ago. They are still making strides to uplift the less fortunate.

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On Friday, Dec. 22, the organization gave away more than 300 toys and gifts at Morning Star Baptist Church, located on 408 Buckeye Ave.

“We give according to those that are needy,” the Rev. B.T. Booker said.

A back room of the church was filled wall to wall with toys and gifts for all age groups.

“We have toys from two months up,” James Eaton of NOED said of the toys sorted by age group.

A group of 175 people who pre-applied sat in the sanctuary and were called in one by one given two toys or gifts according to their application.

“The Bible says the poor will be with you always,” Booker said. “I wish we could bless more.”

Lashanda Washington was among the recipients and was appreciative of NOED’s efforts.

“I think it’s excellent,” she said. “It’s a blessing actually.”

Washington had with her daughter Adriyonna, a toddler, who was snug in her little pink coat – as it was a cold rainy night – and pink hair bows. Adriyonna was a bit shy, but was happy to see a little doll with accessories.

“It’s a good feeling to help people,” Booker said.

According to Booker, this is their second year distributing gifts and they plan to do it every year hereafter.

“We hope to be bigger next year,” he said.

Booker, who is the pastor of Morning Star, said their

church service is broadcasted each Sunday on WHBB for “the sick and shut-in.”