December 16th, 2011 at 7:00 am
For the elderly, they often feel forgotten, feel excluded from the world. But A Time to Share, a ministry started by Jerry and Nancy Haning and their daughter Ashley Shadbolt, is bringing Christmas cheer and a loving touch to senior adults in need in the Amarillo area.
In 1997, Nancy and Ashley were delivering Christmas gifts to children in need through a local outreach effort. While at the family’s home, everything changed. They noticed someone else in the room – an elderly gentleman who needed love and care just as much as the children.
The girls rushed home to share what they had seen with Jerry. Being moved by the situation, they began to pray about how to help, and they began to research the needs of the elderly in the community.
In 1999, they stepped out in faith and started A Time to Share, a ministry that provides Christmas presents and a personal touch to the elderly and adults with special needs in the Amarillo area.
The first year, the Hanings were able to help 151 individuals. Since then, the organization has connected with more than 1,100 individuals, some who have not had an opportunity to celebrate Christmas in more than a decade.
Though a major portion of the ministry is taking Christmas gifts to the elderly, Nancy is quick to share that it is also about spending time with those who are lonely and letting them know they are loved and valued, both by their community and by the Lord.
“All of us deserve to celebrate Lord Jesus’ birth and his death and ressurection, regardless of what choices we’ve made or what’s gone down with our families,” Nancy said. “We’re all important to him. Thus, we must all be important to each other.”
To see the sights and sounds of A Time to Share, watch this month’s Opening Doors video.
To see an article about A Time to Share, visit the Baptist Standard.
On delivery day, the first Saturday in December, hundreds of volunteers pick up packages from the workshop and deliver them all across the community to elderly individuals. They come with gifts but they also hope to share love, care and support for the individuals.
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