What is Operation Christmas Cheer and why should you care?

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Let’s do a mental exercise. I want you to pretend you are a child again during Christmas time. But instead of the memories you may personally hold of the magic this time of year can hold, I want you to imagine that you are living in a shelter, a motel or a car. Imagine that seeing or hearing things a child shouldn’t see or hear may be a part of your normal life. Maybe your family struggles with addiction, abuse, hunger or maybe one of your parents are incarcerated. All the kids at school are so excited and making lists to Santa but you learned long ago that Santa didn’t exist because there have been years where he never came. Imagine and empty belly and clothes too small. You had to grow up too fast. Now imagine you wake up Christmas morning. No tree or presents and you may not know where your next meal will come from or where you will sleep that night. You look out the window or the motel or car and what do you see? Wait….what is that? Why are all those cars following each other? Why are they driving towards you? There’s a reindeer strapped to the front car and the others are decorated and wait…who’s driving that last car? It can’t be!…it’s Santa!!! How did that make you feel? For many kids in the Middle TN area that is a reality. Our volunteers give up their Christmas morning each year to form a large caravan and surprise hundreds of children on Christmas morning! Each vehicle is filled with either toys, clothes, food, toiletries and more. When we surprise the children they get to go to each vehicle and pick out what they want and visit with Santa! Last year we even had a motorcycle group called Tha Family join us. The kids loved sitting on the bikes and meeting the riders! Besides all the presents and “stuff” we use it as an opportunity to pray with everyone and show Love in a unique way. We also have an opportunity to restore some magic back into their childhood if just for a moment. We will have several toy drives and we will need your help to make this happen! We are excited to announce that the Middle Tennessee Electric Department is hosting a toy drive along with Tha Family Motorcycle Club and Murfreesboro Moms Group as well! Check back for updates on toy drop off locations! Along with toys we need food easy to prepare with use of a microwave at the most, blankets, crafts and toiletries! In addition to Operation Christmas Cheer, we will be contacted by schools addition and social workers about kids not adopted by other programs. It’s our goal to spread the Gospel through self sacrificing love and giving. If you’d like to make a monetary donation please click on the donate link on this site. If you’d like to do a toy or food drive for us please let us know!

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Our Elf makes house calls!

1422487_708569192487682_2045411287_nAs you all know (if you follow us on Face Book) we are collecting toys and food for a very special Christmas tradition. Last year on Christmas morning we were made very aware of how some children spend Christmas. Some children spend this holiday without any toys and in some case without a meal. Why would we allow this to happen when we can do something about it!? On Christmas morning our volunteers will be filling up our vehicles with toys, food, stuffed animals, books, personal care needs and more! Santa and his elf will be joining us and we will be caravn-ing to local motels to surprise the children and their parents! Carols, and hugs with Santa will fill this magical morning as the kids get to pick out any toys they want! What a blessed way to spend Christmas! We cannot make this happen without your donation and we have many different ways you can help! You can click on our “donate” link to make a monetary donation on our PayPal, you can bring a new unwrapped toy to one of the following locations: Olympus on Broad St., Olympus on Church St., Chuy’s on Broad St., Immortal Body In Ink in Laverne; you can call American Taxi and Shuttle Service for free pick up or you can Call us at 615-796-8001 to schedule your visit with one of Santa’s Elves!!!! ELF LACIE WILL MAKE A HOUSE CALL AND VISIT WITH YOUR CHILDREN in exchange for new unwrapped toy/food donations!

2013 Rutherford County Magazine

Tairra and Grant Gofourth

If there’s a way to volunteer, Tairra Gofourth is likely to show up with her gang to help.

And she’s eager to take her kids along so they, too, can learn the importance of community service. Husband, Grant, is right there supporting his wife, as well.

In 2011, the Gofourths started The Cupcake Crew as a “way to reach into the community and teach children about volunteerism.” Tairra and a crew of volunteers made gourmet cupcakes and presented the homebaked goodies to local heroes, from veterans to emergency personnel, and even a 6-year-old bone marrow donor.

At the end of last year, Tairra saw a need to reach out to homeless children in the school systems. With the help and direction of Leslie Walker, they started Club Youth Empowerment Services (YES). Over Christmas, a party was held for homeless children and an Easter festival was held in March.

One of the biggest needs, she said, is one-on-one mentoring with the children who “just need a little bit of time” with someone who cares.imageimage