Remembering children at Christmas

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE-A child’s heartbreak at a Christmas over not getting a toy he wanted was more than one local pastor could bear, so he did something about it.

Steve O. Allen, the pastor of New Home Ministries in LaPlace, decided that he would do what he could to avoid bearing witness to that again. He recently held the second annual New Homes Ministry Christmas Shopping Spree.

Allen chartered a bus for about 60 children and their parents to make a trip to New Orleans to revel in the joy of Christmas. Each child was given a $125 gift card and was given the opportunity to spend it in any way they saw fit.

The kids were taken to Toys R’ Us in New Orleans to spend their gift cards. The event was a great success as children went about the aisles excitedly shopping for their gifts.

Allen said that as a child growing up in the Holly Grove neighborhood of New Orleans his mom often struggled with being a single mother. He remembers how the generosity of others made a positive impact on the lives of he and his mother.

&#8220This is a wonderful opportunity to help others and Christmas is the perfect place to start,” he said.

Allen began the annual shopping spree after he realized that he could make a great contribution to children affected by Hurricane Katrina whose families would not be able to provide Christmas because they had lost their homes.

He has hopes that the event will grow to include more families and touch more lives.

&#8220Christmas is a time for us to share in the blessings that God has given us. I’m just doing what I can to help these kids experience the joy and meaning of Christmas,” Allen said.