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updated: 12/23/2010 11:06 AM

Carpentersville church saves all year for toy giveaway

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  • Children crowded near the front door in freezing temperatures Sunday afternoon waiting for the annual The Carpenter's House Community Church "Toys 4 Kids" program to begin. More than 100 families registered and each child received a large bag of toys.

       Children crowded near the front door in freezing temperatures Sunday afternoon waiting for the annual The Carpenter's House Community Church "Toys 4 Kids" program to begin. More than 100 families registered and each child received a large bag of toys.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Four-year-old Lily Parra happily leaves with a bag of gifts with her mother, Noel of Carpentersville. More than 100 families in need received a large bag of toys at The Carpenter's House Community Church's "Toys 4 Kids" program.

       Four-year-old Lily Parra happily leaves with a bag of gifts with her mother, Noel of Carpentersville. More than 100 families in need received a large bag of toys at The Carpenter's House Community Church's "Toys 4 Kids" program.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Classie King of Carpentersville nuzzles her 18-month-old son John as they wait for the toy giveaway to begin. She recently moved her young family from Chicago. This was her first time at the annual Carpenter's House "Toys 4 Kids" program.

       Classie King of Carpentersville nuzzles her 18-month-old son John as they wait for the toy giveaway to begin. She recently moved her young family from Chicago. This was her first time at the annual Carpenter's House "Toys 4 Kids" program.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • A young boy approaches the raffle table during The Carpenter's House Community Church's "Toys 4 Kids" program. Many children won an extra raffled toy and everyone got candy.

       A young boy approaches the raffle table during The Carpenter's House Community Church's "Toys 4 Kids" program. Many children won an extra raffled toy and everyone got candy.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 

As families lined up at the front doors and children pressed their faces to the glass for a peek, The Carpenter's House Community Church members hauled 101 large bags of wrapped gifts from the basement and gathered for a prayer before opening the doors.

The small Carpentersville church held its annual "Toys 4 Kids" event Sunday, Dec. 19.

"We are not just giving away gifts to the needy," said senior pastor William Legge. "We are a ministry."

Members spent the weekend wrapping several hundred gifts and separating them for appropriate ages.

Money for the gifts is raised at events throughout the year. Businesses sometimes donate funds, too, said member Clarence Minton. His employer, Senior Flexonics Inc. of Bartlett, was one of them.

Legge said he found an $8,000 check in the mailbox from an anonymous donor last year.

Church member Mary Minton threw candy to the patient crowd frequently while everyone waited for each child's name to be called.

At the end of the day, 101 families walked away with much more than they came in with.

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