Spirit of Giving brings crowds to downtown

IMG_0165Despite being postponed, the Spirit of Giving event brought crowds of people to the parking lot of First United Methodist Church downtown on Sunday in the true giving spirit of Christmas.

The event was originally supposed to take place the day before, but event coordinators decided to postpone on Saturday morning due to rainy weather.

This year marks the sixth anniversary of Spirit of Giving, which began when local Michael Wood decided he had too much stuff and wanted to give it away to those less fortunate. He asked former pastor of FUMC, Van Lazaroff, if he could pick a day to give his stuff away in the parking lot, and Spirit of Giving was born.

Since then the event has blossomed as others joined him and several churches got involved to spread Christmas cheer by helping those in need.

On the day of the Spirit of Giving, individuals and families registered in the morning, and each were given 4 tickets to be used to ‘purchase’ items. All items cost one ticket, regardless of value.

Leading up to Spirit of Giving, there were drop boxes at local businesses and churches throughout town allowing people to drop off items to be given away at the event. Many clothes, blankets, toys, electronics, shoes, baskets, canned goods and other items were collected.

Then, set up similarly to a street fair, items were stored in portable storage units and U-Haul trucks that were opened up on Sunday for people to walk through and pick from the variety of items. There were even ‘personal shoppers’ there to help people pick clothing in both style and size.

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By Josh Allen, eParisExtra

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Josh Allen Josh is the Managing Editor of www.eParisExtra.com. If you have a suggestion or comment about a story or possible story, you may email him at josh@eparisextra.com.