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Ministry helps with "Community Christmas"

By Michael Butler

Hannah Johnson and Lift Ministries' Community Christmas is bringing a little extra cheer to children this holiday season. The program is now in its fourth year and provides gifts for the less fortunate.

"Having a background in social work knowing there are so many needs in the community that need to be met, we wanted to come up with a ministry to help the women - the moms, grandmoms, the guardians - make it magical for the kids one day each year."

So far, 128 kids are on the list to receive assistance.

"We kind of model it off an old-fashioned angel tree. We just don't have a tree. Everything is social media with the same concept," Johnson said. "You adopt that angel. We've got lots that need adopting. We require that you buy three items off their wish list. We want it be specific for that child to feel excited for Christmas."

Other items that are donated include clothing and diapers.

"We're in Alex City, Wetumpka, Dadeville, Notasulga, Reeltown, Tallassee, Eclectic... everywhere this year. In all of Elmore County and Tallapoosa County we've gotten applications this year. We really need help. We've adopted a lot of our angels. God is so good and is always going to meet our needs."

Johnson said with the community effort, hence the name Community Christmas, the needs are met.

"I think it's important to take your kids with you to adopt this angel. You don't need to know any identifying information on these kids. That's not important. It's not about, 'Look at me. I did this for somebody.' You just need to take them, model for them, show them what it's like to give and do for another person that you don't know anything about."

Lift Ministries has a Facebook page with all the information for those who want to contribute.

"I keep an updated list on the Facebook page. I've had private donors all the way from Michigan. We also have another ministry called "Santa Sings - The Real Reason for the Season." My pastor goes to homes as Santa and reads the real Christmas story. We're going to take care of them. This is where the Lord's calling me."