Special to The Times-Tribune
Recently, several members of Clinch River Baptist Church, Lake City, Tenn., took to the highway for their 2nd annual “Toy Run for Mountain Outreach” to support the children of Whitley County, and Campbell County, Tenn. Led by Pastor Keith Tillman, nine motorcycles made their way followed by a van loaded with gifts from the church in Lake City, Tenn. to the campus of University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg. The purpose of the trip was to raise awareness and support for U of C’s Mountain Outreach program and its annual Christmas Gift Day, which was held Dec. 11.
“The toy run is a unique way that people from one church have become involved to raise awareness of the need for assistance,” said Marc Hensley, director of Mountain Outreach. And raise awareness they did, when they thundered into the parking lot of the Mountain Outreach building on the campus of University of the Cumberlands, followed by a church van that contained more than 100 gifts for children.
Mountain Outreach has sponsored Gift Day for more than a decade, providing Christmas gifts for children of needy families in the area. For three years, Clinch River Baptist Church has participated in Mountain Outreach’s summer building program, and they have extended their assistance by helping to provide much-needed toys and volunteer labor to assist Mountain Outreach with its ministry to families and children in Appalachia.
Hensley stated, “Clinch River has been and continues to be an important partner alongside our students at University of the Cumberlands as we try to impact the folks in this area with basic needs, from housing and clothing to toys and food and even firewood during the Christmas season.” While Mountain Outreach is primarily a student initiated construction ministry, the group turns its efforts towards food, clothing and toys during the holidays when building is not possible.
“Our sincere thanks go out to Clinch River in their significant support of what we do,” said Hensley. “Each year we depend upon our many local and area volunteers help to make this event a success.”
Inquiries about Gift Day and how individuals or churches might help can be directed to the Mountain Outreach office at 800-343-1609, extension 4346, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Special to The Times-Tribune
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