New Home Ministries turns displaced into Toys-R-Us kids

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE — New Home Ministries in LaPlace sponsored an event for Toys-R-Us to be open for two hours for a select group of children to spend $250 on toys.

Pastor Steve Allen said he got the idea when doing some shopping of his own, and witnessed a little boy’s disappointment when his grandparents could not afford to buy him the toy he wanted.

Allen bought the toy and gave it to the child.

&#8220When I saw how elated they all were, I thought, ‘That was such a simple gesture, and yet it brought so much joy to that child’s life.’ that’s when I felt I had to do more,” Allen said.

&#8220When people donate toys, they can have the best intention in the world, but chances are slim that they will donate the same toys that the children would have selected for themselves. This way, each child can pick out exactly what he or she wants, right off the shelf.”

The children were selected from the community New Home Ministries serves in LaPlace and displaced children from Hurricane Katrina.

All the children were from families that would not have been able to afford toys for their families.

&#8220I grew up in Holly Grove, which of course was hit hard by Katrina,” Allen said. &#8220I know what it’s like to lose your old neighborhood. And I was raised by a single mom, so I know what it’s like to be on a tight budget. But Christmas is the one time of the year when kids should be able to put all of that out of their minds and just have fun.”

Allen said Christmas is about the greatest gift of all, the birth of Jesus Christ, and it is time to share the blessings that God has given us. &#8220I’m just doing what I can to help these kids experience the joy of Christmas,” he said.