Aurora church's Blessing Tree brings yuletide cheer to local families
Aurora Advent Christian Church congregants donated $2,300 for the Family Blessing tree and Salvation Army yuletide gift drives.
Senior Pastor Rev. Matt Mull said, "We were able to deliver a check for over $1,200 to the Salvation Army (Aurora Corps) for Angel Tree gifts and about $1,100 for the Family Blessing project!"
According to Rev. Mull, a White Gift Family Blessing tree debuted in the church lobby.
In earlier years, he explained, congregants supported Angel Tree kids and also contributed to a White Gift offering for either a local or international charity.
Due to changes in the Angel Tree program, gift-request tags were not put on the tree and gifts were not accumulated at the church.
Instead, when congregants donated to Angel Tree or White Gift, church workers put paper angels on the Blessing Tree.
The Rev. Mull reported nearly 50 angels were posted on the tree, including for donations and answers to prayer and other yuletide blessings.
"More families in our community than ever are struggling in so many ways," Rev. Mull said. "Through our connections with local schools, we would like to use the White Gift offering to provide a special blessing for one or more families who need some extra help."
Sarah Sarasin, church member and fifth-grade teacher at McCleery Elementary School in Aurora, reported "Thank you for your generosity. Because of your donations, you were able to help four McCleery families this Christmas.
"Three were World Relief (DuPage/Aurora) families with three or more kids. One of those families was from Nepal and the father is a Christian pastor to Nepali people that have come here. He was so grateful to our church for the help."
Sarasin added that a fourth family including a member with medical issues was helped. She said, "They were not going to have much of a Christmas without your help. They were so grateful.
"Thank you for being such a giving church and helping people in need in our neighborhoods. You were a blessing to so many this Christmas," Sarasin said.
Additionally, Rev. Mull said the church presented a gift card to a young, unemployed couple quarantining at home due to COVID-19.
Aurora Advent Christian Church, 905 N. Edgelawn Drive in Aurora, holds worship services at 10 a.m. Sundays.
Online services are livestreamed at AuroraAdvent.org, on Facebook and on YouTube.
Restricted in-person attendance is available with masks, social distancing and other pandemic protocols. Call (630) 896-1963 or visit AuroraAdvent.org for more information.