Christmas for the Love of Children

Child sitting on Santa helper's lap with book

East Ohio Conference churches and community members are making this Christmas very special for families in Summit County.

Opportunity for People Everywhere in Need Ministry (OPEN M) recently held its annual Christmas for the Love of Children event for families that are referred to the agency.

People receiveing CHristmas items“It was an amazing distribution serving 600+ kids and their 200 families,” said Aimee Juarez, who coordinates Marketing/Social Media in the Development office at OPEN M. “The generosity of our donors completely amazed us, as it does every year.”

She said that “each family was given 165 lbs. of food, handmade blankets, new pajamas for each of their children, and school supplies for school-age children – on top of the two gifts that sponsors purchased for each child.”

Loading up cars and trucks with Christmas goods and foodMonths of planning goes into the event each year, all to ensure a happy Christmas for area families who are served by the agency.

“We met so many parents who were beyond touched to be greeted with love and provided with a way to give their kids a special Christmas,” Juarez said.

OPEN M is an East Ohio Conference-supported ministry that helps people throughout the greater Akron area meet the spiritual and physical challenges of living with scarce resources.  The agency offers a free medical clinic for the uninsured, dental and eye clinics, mentoring and afterschool programs, summer camp, and food programs. It also helps move families out of poverty and into self-sufficiency through participation in the Bridges Out of Poverty program.