The ninth annual Jones County Fellowship of Christian Athletes Christmas Party was another tremendous success.
Almost 100 area youngsters received gifts from teams and others during the event, which took place Dec. 4 at four different venues on the campus of Jones College — A.B. Howard Gymnasium, the D.O. Thoms P.E. Building, M.P. Bush Fine Arts Auditorium and the Banquet Hall.
FCA Area Director Jacob Cunningham was pleased with the turnout.
“The original vision of the Christmas party was for coaches and athletes in Jones County to impact the community in a tangible way with the love of Jesus, and that is exactly what we saw Wednesday night,” he said. “It is an awesome experience to watch teams all around Jones County go all out to make sure these children, who would not have Christmas presents if not for the generosity of the teams, have a great Christmas gift.
“We filled up both gyms with a total of 94 children. There were gifts as far as you could see and when the kids and athletes rushed in the gyms, there was barely even room to maneuver.”
Each team at Jones College — along with numerous high schools and junior high schools and other groups, organizations and individuals in Jones County — adopted a child and bought gifts for them.
The youngsters and their families were then taken to the two gyms and received their gifts.
“The single thing that seals the event for me is the look on the children’s faces when they round the corner of the P.E. Building or the A.B. Howard gym and see their gifts,” Cunningham said. “The excitement and joy in their faces makes every minute of preparation worth it. We put a lot of work into the event, but at the end of it, we get way more out of it than we put in.”
At the first Jones County FCA Christmas Party in 2011, nine children received gifts and all activities were in the P.E. Building.
“Jesus says that whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me,” Cunningham said. “And that’s what these teams did. They served Jesus by serving these children.”
The children at the party were selected by their respective school counselors.