Festival of Three Kings brings children Christmas
Published 11:06 am Monday, January 4, 2016
By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist
HUMC was bustling with preparation on Dec. 9 as volunteers mounted snowflakes and hung trees and lights and around the hospitality room where festivities would be held on Dec. 12 for all the foster children in Shelby County.
Between 8 a.m.-1 p.m. the following Saturday, the children enjoyed games, crafts, snacks and prizes while their parents discreetly picked up the Santa gifts to take home and wrap themselves.
These were donated by some 100 caring folks, each of whom picked a child’s name and fulfilled their Christmas list.
“The children also receive a pair of shoes from the Alabaster Scottish Rite Masons,” said Sherri Smith, director of Missions and Groups for HUMC.
“Each child will be given a soft blanket handmade by Fleecing the Flock,” she added. “Brenda Colburn, a HUMC member and a foster mom herself, creates these blankets. Often the children come to their foster homes with nothing at all and this becomes their security blanket.”
The Festival of Three Kings originated in Jefferson County and was started by Amy Downs.
“This year we seem to have many younger children; there are seven under the age of one,” noted volunteer Heather Biciste, who serves as right hand to Sherri Smith.
“Some of the children who have been a part of this in the past, return with the ornaments that they made the previous year and hang them on the tree.”
Each child is photographed with Santa and receives a photo to take home. Over 50 volunteers from HUMC and caseworkers from the DHR are on hand.
“We plan for this ministry for many months,” said Sherri Smith, “So it is a joy to see the children’s smiling faces and their joy the day of the event.”