'Christmas on Monroe' event serves up hope in a challenging year

An estimated 600 families showed up to Mt. Carmel Baptist for the giveaway
Posted at 3:13 PM, Dec 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-12 21:30:41-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Every year, Mount Carmel Baptist Church holds the event -- "Christmas on Monroe" as a way to give families what they need to pull off a holiday celebration. But given the challenges of 2020, more people showed up this year than ever before.

"Some people have not even gotten back from the tornado," said Bishop Marcus Campbell of Mt. Carmel Baptist. "And the pandemic caused a lot of people to lose their jobs."

For Campbell, it was never a question of if the event should go on, it was how. "So we wanted to go big and better to make sure we can reach as many families as we can," he said.

$70,000 worth of toys were donated by Chuck McDowell. He and the employees of Wesley Financial Group, LLC were some of the volunteers at the event.

It took a small army of people to serve more than 600 families in cars wrapped around the block. "If you pull up right here, you get groceries," explained one of the volunteers Kenny Turner.

Each family was able to pickup a warm meal for now and a box of groceries for later.

For families with children, they were able to form a long line on foot, to pick up four toys per child for Christmas. "It’s a very long line just to get toys," observed Jeremiah Hughes.

Little Jeremiah was helping his parents volunteer at the event. While he may have been playing with more basketballs than he was actually giving away, he seemed to have a firm grasp on why this was important. "Sometimes you don’t just gotta think about yourself, you’ve gotta think about other people," he little boy told us.

Only proving, in a year where so much has been different, the joy of giving to others will never change.

"Just a sense of hope in knowing that there is somebody out there that do love and care," said Bishop Campbell.

If you missed Saturday's event, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church is doing another round of donations Thursday December 17th starting at 9 am.