Local group shares season’s blessings with others

Published 11:34 pm Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Christian Love Center on Segars St. has become filled with the Christmas spirit, and they want to share it with the rest of the community.

The center will be holding two events this month to spread a little Christmas joy around Troy.

Tuesday, the center partnered with Troy University’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee to go caroling around the Segars Community.

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Lawanda Bell, director of the Get Fit Kidz program, said it was important for the children who attend the center to get involved in the community. “A lot of the elderly who live around here can’t get out very much,” Bell said. “We want to bring Christmas to them in the form of music.”

Bell said the caroling activity highlights everything the Get Fit Kidz program tries to teach.

“The caroling really ties everything together,” Bell said. “The kids get their daily fitness when they walk around the community, they engage their minds when they sing the songs, and they give back to the community when they hand out candy canes. We want to show our love for the community since we are a part of the community.”

The children who attend the center were excited to go out and spread Christmas cheer with their new friends from the university.

“Singing Christmas songs is a way for us to give back to the community,” said Tamaiya Green, a student at the center. “That’s what Christmas is really all about. There are a lot of people who don’t have what we have. We want to make people feel good at this time of year. It puts people in a good spirit.”

Makaiyah Streeter, another student at the center, said she liked caroling because it makes people happy. “I’m excited to give people stuff and be nice,” Streeter said. “It makes me happy. If you do nice things for other folks, they will do nice stuff for you too.”

It wasn’t just the young kids who enjoyed caroling. The student-athletes from Troy’s SAAC also had a blast. “As athletes, the community gives us support, so we want to show the community that we support them back,” said Langley Vannoy, co-vice president of SAAC. “We are an organization that tries to bond Troy’s student-athletes with the community. I grew up very fortunate in that my mom was able to help me with my homework, and I always participated in organized sports. It’s so important that kids have a place like the Christian Love Center to come to after school. If there are any other organizations around Troy that would like us to come volunteer, they can contact us on Twitter as @TroySAAC, or they can call at (850) 449-9449 ”

In addition to the caroling, the Christian Love Center is also hosting a coat drive and giveaway on Dec. 10.

Bell said the desire to host a coat drive comes from the same spirit of giving back to the community. “The coat giveaway will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the Christian Love Center on Segars St.,” Bell said. “It’s just another way for us to give back to the community. We were driving around on a cold day, and we saw that a lot of kids weren’t wearing a jacket. We decided to do something about that. Anybody can come to pick up a coat for a child.”

Bell said she expects the coats to be given away quickly. “The coats are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis,” Bell said. “As of right now, we have around 60 coats that we’ve received from donations. We made a call to Latonya Duncan at the Family Thrift Shop, and she was able to donate a substantial number of coats. Most of the coats are kid-sized, but we have a few that could even fit twelfth graders.”