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.
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"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.