Giving Children in Need a Christmas

Grace Lutheran Church will participate in the Christian Community Service Center’s Jingle Bell Express program this year.

Giving needy children a joyful Christmas is easier than ever this year. There are four ways you can help.

1. Make a financial contribution: you can donate through the church, please notate on the memo line of your check or offering envelope that the donation is for “Jingle Bell Express”

2. Donate a present: bring a new, unwrapped toy or book to the church, we’ll collect the donations over the next couple of months and deliver them at the end of November (Gifts are needed for all age groups)

3. ‘Shop’ on-line for gifts: visit to select donations from the Center’s wish list.

4. Volunteer: last year over 700 volunteers helped make the Jingle Bell Express program a success – even more are needed this year. Contact Jeni Howell, Youth Services Manager at 713-961-3993 ext. 215 or to volunteer.

Jingle Bell Express began as one of the first outreach programs of the CCSC. In 1980, volunteers got together to act as "Santa's Helpers," making dreams of Christmas a reality for 40 needy families. Due to the resounding support of many wonderful Houstonians, this program has blossomed. As of December 2009, holiday joy reached 948 families and their 3,083 children through Jingle Bell Express.

Jingle Bell Express is unique in comparison to other Christmas programs, as it is organized in a manner where parents "shop" for their children. We believe that this design lends dignity to families. Each parent chooses one or two toys and new books for each child. In addition, the entire family receives food for a holiday meal.

Children who live in the program’s 31-zip code service area, and are between the ages of infancy and 15, are eligible for enrollment. At Registration, parents demonstrate financial need (must be at or below poverty guidelines) and proof of residency.

Held annually in December, Jingle Bell Express involves hundreds of volunteers. Help is needed in every phase of the program, from registering clients, organizing toys, setting up the 'store', and even helping parents select toys. Many churches, local companies and individuals donate goods and in-kind services for this tremendous undertaking, but CCSC can always use more contributors.

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