Community gathering brings Christmas cheer

Published 12:15 pm Friday, December 22, 2023

In a heartwarming display of generosity and community spirit, volunteers from the ladies service organization Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA), the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, and local churches joined forces to spread Christmas joy to a neighborhood facing economic challenges.

The culmination of weeks of hard work and dedication was evident at the Jerusalem Vision Christmas party on Dec. 17, where every child in attendance received a gift. Hosted at the Valley Creek Apartments, the event was a testament to the power of unity and compassion during the holiday season.

Sheriff Mike Granthum of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, who was present at the event, emphasized the importance of inclusivity in their efforts. “This is something we do every year. Usually, we do a few different families, but this year we decided to do Valley Creek Apartments and make sure every single kid here gets something,” Granthum said. “We said 13-14, but we’ve had some that were 16 and 17 years old show up, and we’re not going to turn anyone away. We want everyone to have a Christmas.”

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The event was filled with festive activities, including the retelling of the Christmas story by Pastor John Goings of Water Ave Baptist Church, caroling, snacks, and a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Sheriff Granthum himself took on the role of Santa’s helper, distributing gifts and spreading holiday cheer throughout the community.

Reflecting on the day’s events, Pastor John Goings expressed his delight at witnessing the joy on the children’s faces. 

“It was a joyous occasion to see all the kids come out,” Goings said. “To see them get their gifts and the joy on their faces. It was truly great.”

Kathy Smith, ESA Director, shared her gratitude for the overwhelming support from the community. 

“Today was a blessing from the Lord. We asked people to pitch in and bring gifts, and we had more than enough. I just want to say thank you to every hand and heart that went into this project because every child walked out with a cheerful heart,” Smith said.

The collaborative efforts of ESA, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, and local churches not only brightened the holiday season for the children of Valley Creek Apartments but also served as a reminder of the impact that a caring community can have on those in need. As the Christmas spirit continues to spread, these volunteers stand as shining examples of the true meaning of the season.