Faith Project thanks community for support
Something big can come from small but willing hearts. All you have to do is take a look at what was accomplished by the Faith Project-Sisters in Christ this holiday season.
Spearheaded for a second year by Charlotte Kate Anderson, Lillian Faith Baker and Anna Grace Baker, all elementary students at Fort Dale Academy, these cousins and “Sisters in Christ” reached out to organizations, churches, schools, clubs, businesses and individuals through the Faith Project, seeking their help in making the Christmas season warmer and happier for others in need.
“The girls collected and distributed just over 500 blankets,” said Carol Baker, mom to Lillian Faith and Anna Grace. “We sent 100 to Gatlinburg to help the fire victims and another 30 to Brantwood Children’s Home in Montgomery . . . others went to Montgomery’s Friendship Mission for the homeless and poor, area schools and churches with students and members needing assistance, Crowne Nursing Home in Greenville. low income housing tenants, the local jail ministry and people living on the streets who needed them.”
Thanks to the generosity of the many donors, the goodies distributed weren’t limited to those cozy blankets, either, said Baker.
“The children all received new books, relaxation coloring books, colored pencils and new coats. All the ladies got Ipsy bags of makeup and skin care items, all the men received shaving kits, and everyone got Chap-Stick and Frisbees, too,” she said.
The three cousins made a number of appearances this fall and winter to share about their project and seek donors, speaking at the Sasanqua Garden Club, Greenville civic clubs such as the Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, their own church, St. Thomas Episcopal along with Antioch East Baptist Church and First Baptist Church and various classes at FDA. They also marched in the Greenville Christmas parade to promote their donation drive.
“They were so excited and they truly enjoyed speaking about the project,” Baker said.
And the community responded to their call.
“So many, many people helped with the blankets, coloring books and more,” said Staci Anderson, Charlotte Kate’s mom.
Several businesses, offices and schools provided wonderful and welcome support, Anderson and Baker said.
Greenville Wal-Mart, Structural Wood Systems, Purvis Signs, Fred’s of Greenville, Walgreen’s, Poole & Poole Attorneys, Drs. Hamilton, Crosby and Martin, Max Oil Company, Camellia City Bakery, LBW SGA and Christian Student Ministry, Fort Dale Academy, AEBC and Usborne Book’s Kristin Bass all helped with the Sisters in Faith project.
And certain individuals went “above and beyond” to make a difference, Baker and Anderson say.
Among those who provided that something extra were Pam Sexton who sewed blankets for those in need who didn’t quite meet the shelter requirements to be served; Wes Marcus; Jennifer Shealy at First Baptist Church who sponsored the girls in the parade and her AWANA members who donated blankets; Paul and Kathy Flubacher; Carol and Franklin Mixon; Circuit Judge Terri Lovell, who arranged for the donation of coats from an apparel company and “Pearl the Coupon Queen” whose coupon clipping allowed them to complete the toiletry and shaving kits.
“Honestly, there were just so many people who helped. It was truly a village coming together to make this a wonderful reality and we can’t thank everyone enough,” said Anderson.
Now, these sisters in Christ are looking forward to establishing themselves as a full-fledged non-profit organization, with papers slated to be filed in early January.
“These little girls worked hard,” Anderson said. “We anticipate them taking more and more active roles in this as they get older.”
The three girls are already quite adept at sharing something money just can’t buy.
“The hugs they also give when handing out the blankets and other gifts, those are just precious,” said Baker.
Who knew a young child’s response of “blankets for the poor” when asked what she wanted for Christmas would grow into something so far reaching in just its second year . . .
“Faith planted a wonderful seed last year and our beautiful girls just ran with it,” added Anderson.
“These kiddos are truly being the hands and feet of Jesus,” Baker said.