The parents of more than 300 children received the gift of giving this Christmas when they took part in a toy giveaway at Southwestern‘s Recreation Aerobics Center (RAC), Dec. 16. Nearly 1,000 gifts were distributed during the annual event.

The giveaway was organized by Daily Bread Ministry, which has provided nearly one ton of food for seminary students every Tuesday throughout the school year. For 10 years, the ministry has also helped students who may not otherwise be able to give Christmas gifts to their children. This year three churches sponsored the giveaway: First Baptist, Fort Worth; First Baptist, Haslett; and Pleasant Grove Baptist Number 2.

Coby and Vivian Sutherland, who have overseen Daily Bread Ministry since its beginning in 1995, expressed excitement about this year’s event. They reported that all the churches involved in the ministry have gone far beyond their duty in helping with the event. They said the giveaway is especially a blessing to those international students who have no family in the area and who often have no way to buy gifts for their kids.

“The seminary students we have talked to are gracious,” Vivian added. “They are just as sweet as they can be. … Many of them have told us that the gifts that they get here will be the only gifts their kids get. So it really gets you, particularly for a mother.” She pointed out Christy Tolsdorf, a young mother of three from First Baptist, Fort Worth, who shopped for dozens of families.

“I think it is the best thing to be able to give to somebody else, and this is a great way to do it, especially at this time of year,” Tolsdorf said. It is an opportunity to remind “somebody else to be able to know that God provides for them no matter what.” As a mother, she understands the importance of this ministry. “I love shopping,” she added. “I get to go and look at all the toys, and I get to decide, ‘You know, this is a great toy for a five-year-old, a seven-year-old, even a two-year-old.’”

“Today the RAC was overflowing with families who were here for the food and toy giveaway,” said Anthony Moore, director of Student Life and of the RAC. “Many families, churches and seminarians donated countless toys to seminary children. The displayed generosity stands as a reminder to seminary families of God’s most generous gift, Christ Jesus. It is truly a blessing to see everyone pull together in order to provide the children with a memorable Christmas, in spite of the current insecure economy.”