For 4th year, Mountain of Faith gives backpacks to area’s children

Published 6:13 pm Saturday, December 15, 2018

Christmas became happier for a number of children in Warren County Saturday as Mountain of Faith Ministries held its fourth annual Christmas backpack distribution at C J Williams Mortuary Service on Halls Ferry Road.

“We had requested 800 backpacks from the North American Mission Board in Georgia, and we have opened up to the community and given bags to children who might not get anything for Christmas.” said Toni Terrett, Mountain of Faith board president. “They (the mission board) are very generous with what they put in the bags.

“We’ve had a few parents reach out to us on Facebook and tell us they’re appreciative of the program because they don’t have the funds to buy Christmas gifts for their children and we provide this service to the community.”

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The backpacks were distributed for children ages 2 through 14 and contained toys, clothes, toiletries, school supplies and canned goods. People picking up the backpacks were asked to donate items like paper towels, toilet paper and lotions for Mountain of Faith’s two shelters. The donations, Terrett said, help with the cost of operating the shelter.

The distribution was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., but recipients began lining up at C J Williams’ building well before then, as parents and children ignored the damp cool weather as they waited in line.

Terrett said the long lines have been part of the event. “Every year we’ve done this, we’ve had lines wrapped around whatever building we’ve been in, so this is not unusual.”

She said the program was begun four years ago by Mountain of Faith founder Tina Hayward.

“I’m not sure how she found out about the program, but she completed an application and started our first one in the (Vicksburg) Mall,” she said.

“I believe we gave over 1,000. The next year we gave away 800, and then 1,800 last year. The number depends on what they (the North American Mission Board) have; they send as many as they can.”

If any bags are left, Terrett said, they are given to churches and community organizations for distribution.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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