Christmas for the City 2015 took place on Friday, December 18, at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Final numbers and reports are still coming in, but, from the steady flow of people throughout the building from doors until closing, we welcomed over 12,000 people who were served by the 1,400 amazing volunteers.
More importantly, though, were the stories. Here are four snapshots of people impacted by CFTC:
- KEOKE: Keoke was a guest at the First Presbyterian Overflow Homeless Shelter last winter. He is no longer homeless! He is now employed, has his own apartment and through Love Out Loud was given the opportunity to share his talent through photography in a gallery featuring his and other homeless or formerly homeless people’s work. Hear from Keoke on the vision video below.
- KATRINA: With her son in prison, the recent passing of her mother, and the news of her two sisters battling cancer, Katrina was contemplating thoughts of suicide on Friday night when she chose to come to CFTC. While waiting to have her picture taken in the Help Portrait area, she found hope as a volunteer shared God's deep love and care for her.
- PAUL: After 7 straight years of the same Santa (not that there's more than one!), we were "Santa-less" when the doors of Christmas for the City opened. As the team was brainstorming about what to do, they turned around to see Paul, a long-time CFTC volunteer who: a) looks like Santa, and b) used to play Santa! After a quick trip to Party City by Tori and Trey, Paul was in costume (as was his trusty elf Sara [yes, that would be my wife!]), and the kids were getting to meet Santa!
- JAMES: You may recall the domestic violence incident this Fall that resulted in a murder-suicide. Sabrina Belcher was the victim. Sabrina was a lead vocalist in the Love Out Loud City Gospel Choir for many years. The Gospel choir presented a card, flowers and a small offering to her brother, James, during their worship set. On top of loving our city, CFTC provides a way for the body of Christ to come together and love our own brothers and sisters.
Since 2008, the Journal has covered CFTC. Scroll through the pictures they published this year on the front page of Saturday’s paper: CLICK HERE for their pictures. WGHP was also on hand, cutting away to live shots during their Friday evening newscasts and featuring a story on the 10pm news. More pictures can be found on the CFTC FACEBOOK PAGE.
Check out the video below for a preview video produced in mid-December that will give you a sense for this unique event:
The vision for Christmas for the City is simple: to create a meaningful Christmas experience for the whole community by:
Incorporating all of the arts: drama, dance, music, literature, painting, drawing, and more provide the framework for the event. All artists are invited to contribute works around the theme of “Love Out Loud.”
Celebrating the diversity of our community: people across all generational, ethnic and socio-economic groups plan the event, participate and attend. Inclusivity is a high value.
Honoring those at work in our city: the non-profit organizations and ministries that work tirelessly all year long are highlighted and served.
We invite individuals, churches, artists, businesses and non-profits to join us for Christmas for the City 2014: Friday, December 18, 2015, 4:00-9:00pm. And, most importantly, join us in loving God and loving people.