Volunteers share Christmas message

Published 4:29 pm Monday, December 10, 2012

A volunteer packs food bags for needy at Chelsea Centre’s Heavenly Smile. (Contributed)

By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist

“The number served in our program (at Chelsea Centre’s Heavenly Smile) is very small when you consider other organizations,” said Kim Bradley. “But as long as one person is touched and their life changed by the message of Christ then that’s what really matters.”

Each year participation grows, she said. “We interviewed and took applications (this year) from over 30 households around Chelsea and Shelby County, which included around 53 kids,” she said. “We’re helping them with food and gifts for their kids.”

Bradley said volunteers take prepared wish lists and buy items for the families.

They received referrals of people in need from several area organizations, schools and churches, and they had some walk-ins from the community this year.

“We believe networking is key,” she said.

Schools, churches, and organizations, along with individuals from the community, also help with donations, packing and distributing.

“We have very giving and caring people in Chelsea,” she said, adding that many churches are represented in the project every year, with everyone working together “for like causes” in their own community. “People here are such blessings.”

They would like to thank publicly all who have helped make this year’s Christmas project a huge success, she said. And, once it is over, they will be listed on the organization website Heavenlysmileinc.com.

A group from Heavenly Smile also participated in The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center’s Adopt a Table program on Dec. 2.

They decorated a table, took gifts and prepared and served a meal for 18 of the male residents enrolled in the program.

They received enough food donations this year to fill more than 30 bags for needy families and to replenish the organization’s food pantry, said Bradley.

And many people from the community are pitching in to help regularly. So they plan to begin in early 2013 holding quarterly distributions to people needing food.

Each Christmas bag of food, paper products, etc. contains literature carrying the Gospel of Christ, Bradley said. After all, “Jesus is the sole purpose of the season.”

Contact Heavenly Smile/Chelsea Centre, at 1800 Highway 39, or 678-6603 or 678-7570.


Shelba Nivens can be reached by email at Shelbasn@juno.com.