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Joint Committee for Christmas

JCC at work

Members of White Bluff Chapel have been heavily involved in the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance's Joint Committee for Christmas (JCC). Each year in the fall, in preparation for the Christmas season, the JCC begins collecting applications from area families needing assistance. Many applicants are clients of Our Daily Bread Food Bank, an all-volunteer operation that gives its workers a much needed vacation during the last two weeks of December. The JCC provides boxes of food to cover the time during the holiday when the food bank is closed.

Families may request new clothing for children 12 and under. These requests show up as "Angel Gift" requests and are distributed through churches and local businesses. Individuals in the community may choose to shop for a child or children. There is also another Angel Gift program that is administered by Kay Miller at White Bluff Chapel that provides Christmas gifts for children who have a parent in prison. Members of WBC generally provide for all of the children in the prison ministry, in addition to a generous number of the JCC Angel Gifts.

JCC boxes being filled

A new Christmas program, Toys for Angels, has been added this year under the JCC's umbrella. Toys will be distributed on December 16, in addition to the Angel Gifts of clothing and food baskets. The new project is a result of the Toys for Tots program not holding a distribution event in Hill County this year, and it was decided that it would impose a further hardship on area residents to have to go to Waco to receive the toys. Local businesses, churches and individuals are asked to pick up Angel Tree gift requests and also to purchase and donate unwrapped new toys through local business collection boxes between Thanksgiving and mid-December.

The JCC works closely with other organizations that provide assistance at Christmas time. Those who need assistance with utility bills are referred to the LWMA (Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance) benevolence program.

The Thrift Store at King United Methodist Church opens each year on a specified day to give clothing and toys to families who have been approved by the JCC. Each family member may choose two complete outfits of clothing from the Thrift Store at no charge. Obviously, this requires a lot of clothing, so please remember KUMC's Thrift Store each fall when you clean out those closets.

Originally formed over 20 years ago, the JCC is charged "to discover the real needs of individuals at Christmas time, to avoid unnecessary duplications in the efforts to meet those needs, to direct the organizations involved to pool their resources in order to meet more efficiently the needs as they are discovered, to investigate all applications requesting aid, and to plan effective means by which items will be supplied that are commensurate to the real physical needs of people."

The Joint Committee for Christmas is blessed to receive funding through the Missions Committee of White Bluff Chapel, in addition to financial support from many area businesses and individuals. White Bluff Chapel members serve in the leadership of the JCC.

WBC Sponsor: Kathy Richey Email


      
ission  Joint Committee for Christmas:
"Did You Know?!"
 oment  Posted October, 2015

Connie Lange Merrill, Chairman of the Lake Whitney Area Joint Committee for Christmas, has submitted the following article about that active ministry that is gearing up for the Christmas 2015 season. Contact: cmerrill@swbell.net, 281-814-8693

Did you know ... the annual tradition of Joint Committee for Christmas (JCC) giving is well underway with the full support of the Lake Whitney community? In particular, the JCC feels very blessed to be a mission of the White Bluff Chapel congregation and greatly appreciates the contributions of volunteer time, financial donations, prayers and love that come from WBC members.

The JCC has outlined its activities and calendar of events leading up to and including Distribution Day on Thursday, December 17, 2015. By way of describing the plans for this year's Christmas offerings (expected to be similar to those of years past), here is a recap of the 2014 happenings. The following story was a thank-you letter to the Lake Whitney community, published as a "Letter to the Editor" in The Lakelander, January 2015.

"The Whitney community was a scene of joy, abundance and blessings on December 18th at the First Baptist Church. There, the Joint Committee for Christmas (JCC) led members of Whitney area church congregations, Whitney High School PALS, businesses, volunteer fire departments, and other groups in distributing new clothing, shoes, toys and gifts for 450 youths, gifts to 95 senior citizens, and Christmas Meal Boxes and grocery store vouchers for  950 individuals. This giving network, complete with the people who generously adopted our angels and made financial donations, graciously met at least some of the current economic needs of many in our area.

“What an awesome time to count our blessings with our clients, donors and volunteers at the top of our list! As we go our ways to enjoy the holidays and move into the new year with family, friends, and loved ones, may the following message, which was shared during the JCC distribution day, embrace you all.

"Today we are here in First Baptist Church. Thanks to Carl Jennings and this congregation's graciousness and hospitality, we are in a warm and welcoming place ... we are blessed.

“Our clients this year are fewer in number than in the past. We pray that many in the area have improved health, better education and more jobs ... we are blessed.

“Many contributors in the community have outdone themselves!  Our Angels have been adopted and generous donations have filled the Toy Store, the Senior Gift Department and Christmas Meal Boxes ... we are blessed.

“Volunteers have worked diligently during this giving season and are here today with energy and joy ... we are blessed.

“In prayer and thanksgiving, we celebrate the best and most blessed gifts of Christmas ... abiding faith, precious family and treasured friends!

“With blessings comes a challenge. I ask that all of you here today be the change you wish to see in your world! May we all meet this challenge with peace, harmony, laughter and love!"

“Let us begin ..."


      
ission  JCC Provides Big Christmas
for Whitney Residents
 oment  Posted January, 2014

Connie Lange Merrill, Chairman of the Joint Committee for Christmas in Whitney, led an enormously successful campaign for Christmas, 2013. Ann Fox, secretary of the JCC, is White Bluff Chapel's representative from our Mission Committee.

A few days before this past Christmas, many White Bluff Chapel members worked with the Joint Committee for Christmas (JCC) to lead members of Whitney area church congregations, businesses, volunteer fire departments, and other groups in distributing gifts to those in need around the Whitney community. New clothing, shoes, toys and gifts were given to 420 youths, gift cards to 90 of our senior citizens, Christmas meal boxes for 1,000 individuals, as well as shopping vouchers for the King Memorial United Methodist Church Thrift Store. This giving network, complete with the people who generously adopted our angels and made financial donations, graciously met at least some of the current economic needs of many in our community. 

In awe and admiration for everyone in the Whitney area, the JCC extends this heartfelt message to all:

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!' (Luke 2:13-14). Believe. The glory around you is born again each day!

It is found in the volunteer fire department and the auctioneer who provided many of the gifts in our Toy Store.

It is present in one family with critical needs and unable to participate in our JCC distribution and in another family who has come to their aid in a very generous and giving way.

It lies within an 18-year old young man who is working to support himself and has adopted a Whitney angel because he once was one of our angels himself.

It embraces a woman of enormous spirit who has adopted an angel this year and seeks her very own cowboy with whom to celebrate her 85th birthday during these holidays.

It lives in everyone who is a part of this celebration: our clients, volunteers and donors. May you all find your own glory each and every day!"



Mission of the Month, December 2011

JCC's Network of Giving Benefits Community

Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas the community of Whitney is abuzz with the giving spirit. All over town, angel trees display the wishes of children and teenagers for clothes, shoes, toys and gifts.  Representing the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance, the Joint Committee for Christmas (JCC) harnesses the energy and efforts of area churches, businesses, volunteer fire departments, the high school and more toward collecting and distributing new gifts and Christmas meal boxes to over 1,000 people.  This giving network, complete with the generous people who adopt the angels, seems always to surpass the previous year's record. We are a very blessed and caring community.

To aid in gathering and distributing all these items, the JCC continues to receive support annually from Hilco grants and donations from area businesses and churches, including White Bluff Chapel. Further, the JCC has a partnership with Brookshire's of Whitney in the preparation of the Christmas meal boxes, which contain some of the foods collected through Brookshire's Spirit of Christmas food drive.

The Committee is particularly appreciative of the many volunteers who spend countless advance hours organizing the distribution that occurs about ten days prior to Christmas Day. That includes processing client applications, seeking needed resources, and preparing decorative angel tags for the trees, as well as vouchers for clients' use that can also be applied toward purchases at local grocery stores and the King Memorial United Methodist Church Thrift Store.

It is on distribution day that the invaluable efforts of this giving network come to light. Clothing and shoe gift bags, games, toys and gifts for teenagers and Christmas meal boxes fill an enormous space. Volunteers are ready and eager to greet the clients and assist them in picking up their items, selecting gifts from the Toy Store and helping take everything to their vehicles. Clients express their gratitude and excitement for the gifts. Many times clients, after loading their items, will return to the distribution event and volunteer to help others. This adds a very special meaning to the JCC endeavor, a growing giving network!