Santa came to town Wednesday afternoon with his helpers to make Christmas come early at the Soup Opera’s holiday drive.
“There’s so many folks in the area going through a lot of difficult situations and we see that in our ministry not just in the Barbour County area where we’re from but also here in Marion County, around North Central West Virginia,” said Pastor Howard Swick, Haven of Hope Worship Center.
“And if we can actually offer help to people who maybe need help, that’s really the heartbeat of the Christmas season, folks helping other folks.”
Dozens of people lined the street outside waiting to go in group by group to receive toys and clothing for their families.
“Every year we sign-up, and when we sign-up, it actually helps our children and it helps our families that were unable to get toys, clothing or whatever we can’t provide to children in the community,” said Amanda Drake, Marion County resident.
The Soup Opera started collecting gifts and warm clothing months in advance to fill the needs of local community members.
That preparation made the distribution process seamless, gifts were pre-wrapped and organized to make pick-up easy.
“It’s important at Christmas time to really show Christ and who Christ is and we do so by giving toys to kids and representing the greatest gift at all which is Jesus Christ. A baby wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. And that’s really the reason of the season and the heartbeat of the season,” said Swick.
The Christmas spirit was tangible as local parents left with gifts for their children to make the season bright.