From Sterling Heights warehouse to needy families, All God’s Children fills the void
The Bible is not a gift catalog.
Legos and Carharrt are nowhere to be found in the New Testament.
Even as long as they have been around, there’s no mention of Radio Flyer wagons or scooters anywhere in the Old Testament.
But there is irrefutable testimony that Gifts for All God’s Children is once again distributing gifts to deserving children this year. Each will receive approximately five gifts in a true holiday package.
Patti Jacques started Gifts for All God’s Children in 1988 at Faith Lutheran Church in Troy as an advent ministry to serve needy children. That year, 187 children received Christmas gifts. This outreach has expanded due to a growing number of people in churches, private and public schools, organizations and businesses sponsoring children, making donations or volunteering.
In December 2019 over 3,629 children received gifts picked out especially for them. Since 1988, the number of children served has reached more than 72,486.
“I’d seen a giving (Christmas) tree at Kmart and realized that our church did not have something similar,” said Jacques. “That was after Christmas in 1987. We started Gifts for All God’s Children the next year.
“Every year it just keeps expanding. More and more gifts come through the door. God opened that door for us. It’s just like in the Bible when it says that the oil never ran out,” said Jacques.
While Santa has his workshop, so do all the good folks involved in Gift’s for All God’s Children. The group’s warehouse is at Redemption Lutheran Church, 39051 Dodge Park, Sterling Heights. There, surrounded by new clothes and toys, shoppers put together packages for kids. Gifts are wrapped, bows are tied, and holiday dreams are fulfilled.
This year those gifts are earmarked for deserving kids in Pontiac, Flint, Detroit and a church in Marquette where the need is great.
That workshop does not just lock up after December. They work year round at Gifts For All God’s Children to provide children in need assistance with hygiene kits, school supplies, summer camp scholarships, summer Bible Camp, tutoring, Christmas gifts and more.
Among the programs are tutoring and mentoring, overnight camp scholarships, field trips, transportation to sports camps, Connecting Kids to Christ Center, prayer partners for the children, school aid or school supply collection, school uniforms and Shoes 2 Success.
“The stories of some of the kids that we help are often unimaginable,” said Jacques. “God knows what is going on. He leads us to them. Everybody is living hand to mouth. They are just trying to survive.”
An impoverished family in southwest Detroit. A horribly abusive father. His wife had to flee with the kids in the middle of the night. They are living with a member of their church now.
A mom whose son was killed in a car accident. Mentally broken by grief, she abandoned the rest of her kids.
A mom and her kids displaced by a fire at their apartment complex. They moved in with mom’s sister, bringing the total number of kids to seven in their two-bedroom flat. That does not count adults.
The stories are endless. The heartbreak can be terminal. The need is overwhelming. Thank God that oil never runs out.
Donations are always needed. Footballs and basketballs; underwear and socks; cash and checks. The holiday spirit need not extinguish on the 25th day of December.