DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Target Dayton Ministry’s Christmas Day service has grown since it started 19 year ago.
Keisha Garber was at this year’s event with her son. She wants him to have a deeper understanding of Christmas. It’s why for the last three years, she’s brought with her to volunteer at the Christmas service.
“I try to teach him that Christmas is about giving not getting,” said Garber.
Her son was one of the many volunteers lining up to welcome people coming into the Dayton Convention Center for the service. He shook hands with many of the people coming in.
“It’s important to me to just have the opportunity for him to just serve those whether similar to us or different from us, whether we know them or don’t know them,” Garber.
The event has grown so much, that for the first time, it is being held at the Dayton Convention Center.
“It was so amazing today. It was overwhelming as the doors opened to so many folks,” Cindi Stevens, Target Dayton Ministries’ director, said.
Following a festive choir and an inspirational service – it was time for gifts.
Each person left with their a Christmas box. It was filled with hat, gloves and basic hygiene items as well as snacks.
For a lot of people, this will be the only gift they open this year.
“Even more than the material items the get, everyone who comes through the doors with all the volunteers are really sensing a love. (That’s something) our folks don’t get that much. Today knowing that they are special and they are loved, that is awesome,” Stevens said.
Everyone also leaves with a boxed meal filled with nutritious food as well as a pamphlet of services the ministry provides.
The church caters to the poor and homeless. Click here to learn more about them.