Christmas is meant to be a wonderful time of celebration, generosity and festive cheer. But for many family’s who are struggling to pay the bills, it can be a time of intense financial stress.
As such, the holiday season also serves as an opportunity for churches to step up and help out those less fortunate. One faith community doing exactly that is Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta, who on Monday surprised families on the final night of layaway at the local Walmart by covering the cost of all their items.
One of the beneficiaries of the act of kindness, Suwanda McCreary, told WSB-TV 2 that the gift could not have come at a more poignant time. Her 28-year-old son Justin had been tragically killed in April and this was the be the first Christmas without him.
“I used to take him shopping every year for his children for Christmas. He left three kids behind,” she told the outlet.
Heading to Walmart by herself, she was gearing up for an emotionally and financially draining Christmas, until the church stepped in to help.
“It’s a tremendous help because I really wasn’t able to do it,” she said. “Sometimes I would borrow money — to get this phone call, it meant a whole lot to me.”
The church ended up paying around $10,000 in layaways for an incredible 23 different families.
“It means everything to us to see the smiles on these people faces,” said The Reverend Doctor Kevin Murriel of the project. “You just can’t beat that we have been blessed again to be a blessing and it means the world to us to do that.”