We had a truly wonderful 21st Annual STEP Christmas Toy Store in December thanks to toy and financial donations from our partner churches, individuals, and James Greene & Associates!
The STEP CHRISTmas Toy Store is an annual event in which low-income families in our area are able to shop for new toys and items as Christmas gifts for their children at a small fraction of the actual retail cost. This allows for parents to have autonomy and the feeling of true provision at Christmas for their children.
This year, we served 20% more families than last year for a total of 72 families with gifts for 206 children being provided.
A highlight is watching several of our STEP high school mentees volunteering at the event, working long and hard, and even helping with all of the clean up. On Saturday, after almost everyone had left, two of our STEP young men, George and Daniel, were actively seeking ways to help and were among the last of us to leave. George helped to bag up any remaining toys for us to give to the Dorcas House, and Daniel helped take the very last things to the cars. That shows character, kindness, and a level of responsibility that is rare today! It’s a beautiful illustration of how God uses STEP in discipling young men and women in Christ’s ways of servanthood and sacrifice.
Another highlight is seeing the volunteer Prayer Team sit with parents and pray with them over their prayer concerns, with tears often being shed. A focus of STEP Ministries is building into the spiritual lives of the children and families we serve.
We are thankful to our partner churches and other donors for all that you invest in the mission of STEP all year long!