Operation Giving Heart...Hope for Children at Christmas!
Heaven's Army of Resourcesby Margie Taylor of Taylorized PR
Dec 01, 2015
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas - Families in East Montgomery County will see a visit from Santa in a Fireman’s helmet at the 5th Annual Operation Giving Heart on Saturday, December 12 from 3-8:00 p.m. at Bull Salas Park in New Caney. As a joint effort between local churches, the East Montgomery County Fire Department, Fish Tales of New Caney, Marshall and Brown Accounting, Taylorized PR, and Heaven’s Army of Resources, approximately 1200 eligible area children will receive a brighter Christmas.
Operation Giving Heart began as a small idea in 2010 as an outreach effort of Heaven’s Army of Resources to help local children from East Montgomery County receive Christmas gifts with a dinner, games, and entertainment at the New Caney Fire Department. Over the last 5 years it has evolved to a wonderful community endeavor that has moved to Bull Salas Park to accommodate more families, additional volunteers, and many local sponsors. In 2014 $27,000 was raised through community efforts with over 1000 children served.
Eligible children are chosen from local schools with the help of the school counselors. The families attend the event with food, festivities, crafts, entertainment, resources, and the opportunity to select gifts for their children. Parents are escorted into a private room with all the gifts and are able to choose a few age appropriate gifts to take home and wrap for their children. The parents then immediately take the items to their vehicles in large garbage sacks. The children remain with a responsible adult in the arena where there is an abundance of food, entertainment, and festivities for the kids.
“The best part of Operation Giving Heart is seeing the unity in the community through individuals giving time, donations, and love," said Lanora Purvis, Executive Director of Heaven’s Army of Resources and Chairman of Operation Giving Heart.
The first fundraiser was October 23 with an Eat to Donate at Fish Tales of New Caney sponsored by Fish Tales and Marshall and Brown Accounting. 100% of sales was raised at the Eat to Donate to benefit Operation Giving Heart in the amount of $4012.
“LaNora has a heart to help those in need. I share her desire to make a difference where we live in the community,” said Stephen Marshall, of Marshall and Brown Accounting. “The community has supported me as an independent business owner, and it’s my turn to give back.” Marshall will be at the event Dec.12 offering an incentive for low income families to file their tax returns and photos with Santa.
Additional sponsors include the Roman Forest Police Department (collecting toys), Ladies Auxiliary Post 4816 in Porter, Cornerstone Church in Cleveland, Keeley’s Cupcakes of New Caney, Filter Man, and the Whole Kid and Kaboodle-a magazine of resources for parents. KSBJ will also be available with the Prayer Tent. Fish Tales will be serving dinner free of charge to all participants during the event.
“This is the 5th year that the fire department has partnered with Heaven’s Army to make a difference to less fortunate children in our community. We start filling the hat at street corners mid- November,” said East Montgomery County Fire Chief Jeff Taylor. “The rain has pre-empted our efforts several weekends, but we are hoping to make our goal of $12,000 before the event.”
Both monetary donations, bikes, and toys are still needed to meet the goal of serving 1200 children and raising $30,000. Toys, gift certificates, and monetary donations may be taken to the East Montgomery County Fire Department (19870 FM 1485, New Caney), Roman Forest Police Department (2430 Roman Forest Blvd) or contact LaNora Purvis at 832.401.7965. Checks must be made out to Heaven’s Army. Volunteers still needed. Local businesses and non-profit organizations are encouraged to get involved by setting up tables at the event with informational resources and hands on activities for kids. Activities last year included face-painting, carnival games, coat giveaways, duck toss, Reindeer Games, and pictures with Santa.
"My heart is full of joy to know there's an organization such as this that is compassionate enough to reach out to families like me in no position to provide them with Christmas. It gives me hope,” said a parent that has received assistance for her children.
Founded in 2009, Heaven’s Army is a Christian based 501(c )3 non-profit organization that performs outreach ministry in East Montgomery County with 2 locations-New Caney and Patton Village committed to serving the needs of families at risk in the surrounding area. Programs include a food pantry, resale shop, children’s activities, bible studies, and community service projects. Funded exclusively through local faith groups, private donations, and businesses, HA has no paid staff. Operation Giving Heart is an annual event that serves the community at risk children at Christmas. Call 281.689.5864 or email email@example.com.
See updated related article Operation Giving Heart...an annual tradition by the community for the community.