Monday, December 13, 2010

The Manger by the Numbers

402. . 2089. . . 6267! Those are the numbers of families and individuals served and the number of presents distributed last week at the Manger. The Manger is a ministry Journey Church has partnered with for three years now. It is a Christmas gift store for needy families in Northwest Columbus. It's purpose is to help ease the burden of gift giving by allowing parents to shop for their families but at greatly reduced prices.

This years numbers were almost double last years numbers, perhaps because of the exciting article printed in the Columbus Dispatch on Wednesday, December 8. The most telling comment in the article was a one made by a shopper. She observed that "these gifts have eased my burden, and I feel like a kid in a candy store, but it's the hugs and the prayers here that really matter." How thankful I am then for another number. That's the number of volunteers who gave hugs and ushered up prayers as well as donated and distributed Christmas gifts for the shoppers. This year there were more than 250 volunteers. That broke down to more than 63 per night.

The Manger is over for this year. We are not giving out any more presents but I have a feeling it's impact is far from over. Not only on the shoppers but on each of the volunteers. None of us will be the same and none of us are supposed to be.

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