BY ASHLEY THOMAS
Ministries for Christ Outreach held its end-of-the year Unity in the Community event Saturday in conjunction with Kicks for Christmas. The event held at the Masonova Plaza in Daytona Beach had a record-breaking crowd of more than 1,500 people in attendance.
Attendees came from Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Orlando and Palm Coast as well as Putnam and Seminole counties. Some even came from as far away as Tampa and Broward County.
Continues to grow
“We had over 30 community organizations between churches, agencies and businesses to attend the event in addition to those that partner with us. Embry Riddle was there, Stewart-Marchman, CWC Ministries,” shared Pastor Lisa Polite of Ministries for Christ Outreach. Various dental offices gave out free toothbrushes and toothpaste and an optometrist was on site.
“These are people we work alongside who came out to support our community, and John (Polite’s husband) and myself thank them as well as all of our corporate sponsorships.”
Added Polite, “This was all new. Sandra Wilcox from B-CU (Bethune-Cookman University) was our Spanish interpreter this year. Everything that was being said in English was translated for our Spanish speakers.”
Kicks for Christmas
The Tomoka Christian Church Youth Group collected over 1,200 pairs of shoes for their Kicks for Christmas ministry. These brand-new shoes were given out to many of the men, women and children attending.
Christina Moore, a coordinator from Tomoka Christian Church, said the shoe giveaway has grown each year.
“The first year was 180, then they doubled that at 360 and last year there were 735 pairs of shoes,” she said.
“There was a woman we met that came in from Seminole County and she had eight kids.
Her name was Sharon,” Polite explained to the Times. “She had heard about our Unity event from the radio and came out. What blessed us is not only did she receive shoes but her babies received shoes.
“She had a need and not only was the need met with shoes but with clothes also. And on top of the need being met, she gave her life to the Lord that day. That is what Unity is about – changing and transforming lives.”
Food, fellowship and fun
While people were trying on shoes and looking for gently used clothing, there were other activities for those attending from hand massages to the Children’s Activity Center hosted by Tomoka Christian Church and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Others were enjoying the music, singing and dancing performed by the many artists of the churches supporting the event.
The Volusia County Health Department provided HIV testing, support and education with their mobile unit. The Tomoka Eye Institute did blood pressure screenings and provided eye and other health information services.
To top off the day was a barbecue with all the fixings served by volunteers.
“This was the largest event that we’ve had,” remarked Pastor Polite, who says the program is in its third year. “It’s an event that happens twice a year and our next will be June of 2014.”
In last week’s issue, The Daytona Times incorrectly listed the date of the event. We apologize for the error.