WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - From board games and dolls, to TVs and microwaves, the New Life Christian Church in Watertown had a large spread of gifts for their 6th Annual Christmas Giveaway.
All of the items are donated by church members to be given out to those who need it most.
“I think it’s critical for us as a community to say ‘hey, we are going to do our part to make sure other people have a good Christmas’,” said New Life Christian Church Pastor Kirk Gilchrist.
Pastor Gilchrist says the church community gets excited every year to see the long lines of people waiting out front. However, this year there are no lines. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the church to make changes.
This year, north country residents signed up for a time slot online.
At their allotted time, they would come in and walk around with members of the church community to pick out their gifts.
It may have been different from years past, but the community response was still the same.
“This church is the most awesome church in the world. They care so much about the community. They do so much for people who can’t afford to buy Christmas presents or do stuff for their families,” said Julia Renaud.
“Being military, this is out first time away from home. Our first holiday without family. I lost my job at the beginning of the pandemic, and then you throw a cross country move in there, and so being able to get some stuff for her and make it a special holiday is a big deal,” said Allicia Fairbanks.
It was a big deal for the community, but an even bigger one for the church to be able to help so many families.
“You know, a couple hundred families. So you are talking 5- 6- 700 hundred people once you multiply it out, so it helps a lot of people. And because of COVID, there is so much need and so many people that are hurting. We really felt it was important to spread the same joy we do every year just in a different way,” said Gilchrist.