Christmas help on the way - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Christmas help on the way

November 25, 2005

Thomasville, Georgia-- Thanksgiving is fresh on everyone's mind, but some people are already looking towards the next big holiday. Instead of relaxing on Friday, volunteers in Thomasville are working hard to make Christmas extra special for some needy children.

Volunteers like Robert Tester are stacking, sliding, and sweating in Thomasville for a good cause south of the border. "We're taking shoe boxes, loading them on trucks to take them to Mexico for the children," says Tester.

Each box is filled with Christmas gifts, a treasure trove in a country where 89% of the population lives on less than $4 a day. "This is the only Christmas that most of these children will experience, the only gifts that they'll receive," says organizer, Horton Griffin.

Lifeline Ministries started the project in 2000 to honor two of its missionaries who died in a car accident the same year. "The church started a memorial because these young men loved children so much," says Griffin.

A mountain of boxes Lifeline has collected gives you an idea of just how many children will be helped by this project. The impacting thing about is, it's only a third of what's being sent out. "This is a distribution point. What we're actually loading here is in the neighborhood of three thousand boxes," says Griffin.

They'll be trucked into Mexico next week, where they'll be distributed at feeding centers along with another 12,000 other boxes. "It fills our heart but there's some sadness mixed with it because the need is greater than what we can do," says Griffin. "It makes you feel good that you can come and bring them something that adds a little joy to their life," adds fellow organizer, Al Bass. "It blesses me. It blesses me," says Tester. That feeling starts each April, along with the project.

Lifeline Ministries was started in 1975. The gift boxes are just one of several missionary projects it runs.

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