These two kids were one of the first ones into the toy room, they had waited outside in the cold all night long to be sure they would get their toys. They were there with their Mother, her two sisters and their three siblings.
Over 10,000 toys were given away!
Macys provided the 2,600 books that were given away.
Pastor Miles of The Rock Church greets one of the thousands of volunteers who worked to make the day possible.
14,000 bags of groceries were assembled and given away.
196,000 donated articles of clothing was distributed to the families that day.
80 bikes were given out to children who won the raffle drawings.
There was TV coverage of the event from ABC, FOX, NBC, SD6 and KUSI, to watch click HERE
The day was tremendously fun with entertainment on the stage included signing, dancing, puppets, acrobatics, and theater productions. There was an area with face-painting, balloon making, haircuting and a place to make gospel bracelets. The kids had a incredible time playing on the inflatable jumpers and slides. When they were hungry there was free food and drinks provided for them.
More than ten thousand people heard a clear gospel message of God’s love and forgiveness, with a large number of them wanting to become a follower of Jesus.
To see more photos from the day Click HERE
Toys for Joy began over 15 years ago by Miles McPherson and Miles Ahead Ministries. I first started photographing at Toys for Joy, I think in 2002. This year’s Toys for Joy is just around the corner.
The event is now run under the umbrella of the Rock Church. Miles McPherson is the pastor at the Rock.
Since 2002 I have photographed almost every Toys for Joy Christmas outreach. Every year is different and to be honest, sometimes you wonder if the folks in line are really in need…that’s when I pray and seek to tell the story of what God is doing at this great event. In the spirit of giving and blessing others, you have to look the other way when you see a teen in line, listening to music with his $200 beats headphones connected to his iPhone while wearing $150 Air Jordans…One of the great things about Toys for Joy back when I first got involved, was that every man, woman and child that was in line heard the Good News of Christ coming at Christmas and His death and resurrection at Easter. That everyone might have life in Christ. Every person heard this message and was given a chance to pray to receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, before heading into the toy area.
Photographers by nature are observers…we are always looking for the “shot” that will tell the story in 1 photo…
I think Rafael got pretty close on this photo. One of the traditions of Toys for Joy was to award a bicycle to a young boy and girl near the end of the event…This young girl was just told she was going to be getting a new bicycle for Christmas! The rest of the photos add to the story…
Praise God for Toys for Joy. That kids who might not receive anything at Christmas might be blessed and know who this season is truly about….Jesus!
You can learn more about Toys for Joy by going HERE.
Over the years I have been blessed to see quite a few Toys 4 Joy outreaches up close and personal…it’s always different and always a chance to see God work in new and special ways. I share some of my thoughts and images from over the years at one1shot.wordpress.com