We are grateful for all of our volunteers for Christmas for the City! Check out some answers to frequently-asked questions as well as recent blog posts from Victoria Hanchell (leader of Volunteer Care) to help prepare our hearts!



  • Check in at Volunteer Central. It will be to your left when you enter the Benton Convention Center by the second set of escalators.
  • Plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your shift in order to find parking and get checked in.
  • Please leave all valuables locked in the trunk of your car.
  • Return your name badge to Volunteer Central at the end of the night.
  • You'll be given a CFTC program on Tuesday night to begin to familiarize yourself with what's happening this year.


  • Is the Benton Convention Center OPEN???!!!
    • Yes, the lower level is open. We'll be using the newly renovated Piedmont 1, 2, 3 and 4 rooms and south through the underground tunnel into the Embassy Suites Conference Space to the Grand Pavilion (the old skating rink!) and exiting out the terraced area that leads up toe Cherry Street by the Bike Patrol Office and the Marriott.
  • Where is it and how do I get there?
    • The street address is 301 West Fifth Street, Winston-Salem, NC, but you will enter from the Cherry Street side (close to the intersection of Cherry St and 6th St.)
  • Where do I enter the Benton Convention Center?
    • The only entrance that will be open is on Cherry St between 5th and 6th Street.
  • Where do I park?
    • Closest parking is in the Cherry Street garage at the corner of 6th and Cherry. Enter from either street. If you are on the upper levels, you can take the elevator to the pedestrian bridge, cross on the bridge, and take the elevator to the lower level.
    • You can also park in the parking deck attached to the Embassy Suites. Enter from either Cherry or Marshall Streets between 4th and 5th Streets.
    • There is street parking on the blocks around the Benton and Embassy Suites.
    • If you are arriving at 6pm or later, you can park in the First Baptist lot on Spruce Street.
    • For a list of downtown parking garages, click HERE.
  • What should I wear?
    • Please make sure you come comfortable.  Casual and warm attire is suggested.
  • How do I find out whether or not the event is still taking place in the case of inclement weather?


Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016: Please, Santa, Please!

One of the funniest commercials during this Christmas Season is the Lexus commercial entitled “Mall Santa”.  The young boy (no more than 10 years old) sits on Santa’s lap and asks him for the following:  “A 2017 Lexus LX 570 (the boy then glances at his father who is mouthing this request to his son), with 21 inch alloys {wheels} and a dual screen entertainment system”...then the little boy gives his father a big thumbs-up while Santa Claus gives the father a look of disapproval because the father used his son to give Santa his grown-up request.  
In the next scene of the commercial, it is Christmas morning, and both the boy and the father runs outside to see Santa Claus’s delivery:  A brand new 2017 Lexus, all wrapped-up in a huge red bow!  Then the narrator says, “If you are going to wish, wish big…”

I believe that each person in our city has a Christmas wish.  It may not be for a 2017 Lexus, it may be simply for a genuine hug.  The wish could be for better health, or for a special loved-one to return home for the holidays.  While each wish may vary from heart to heart and from breast to breast, let our prayer be that each person who attends Christmas for the City 2016 will receive something so rich and unforgettable that a gift under the tree (or in the driveway) could never compare. 

As we volunteer at CFTC 2016, let us wish and pray big!  Let us pray big that we will see a huge turn-out, let us pray big that someone returns to Jesus Christ, let us pray big that someone feels welcomed and appreciated!  That at the end of the night, we too will be able to give each other “a thumbs-up” for a job well done.

Let us wish big.
Let us pray big.
Let us serve big

Victoria F. Hanchell, Ed.D.

Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016: Mary Did You Know?

Last week, Winston Salem First Christian School, hosted a Christmas production.  One of the many highlights of the evening was a tear-jerking solo by a little first-grader, Kennedi Robinson, who sang “Mary Did You Know?” She confidently stood at the microphone and amazingly remembered every verse of the song!  When she ended with, …”He is the Great I AM…”, I do not think there was a dry eye in the entire building!

This week, I spoke with Kennedi’s father, and he shared with me that while she was rehearsing the lyrics at home, she stopped in the middle of the verse and said, “Mommy, I don’t think Mary knew…”  Her father laughed as he recounted the story, I did as well.

Seven times in the Gospel of John, Jesus claims to be the great “I Am” (4:26; 6:20; 8:24, 28, 58; 13:19; 18:5). In every one of these Biblical contexts the “I Am” keeps reinforcing His deity.  So on today, rather than saying “Mary do you know?” the question is “Tom, Keisha, Nicole, all Volunteers of Christmas For The City -Do you know?   Do you know that the GREAT I AM is the reason for the Christmas Season?  Do you know that as you serve at Christmas for the City you are serving the Great I AM?  Do you know that the Great I AM will strengthen you and give you the fortitude to serve over 10,000 guests from all walks of life, different ethnicities, various socio-economic backgrounds?

The Great I Am has given the vision for this great event and you are giving of your time to a great cause!  We do not know exactly who and how this event will impact lives, but we do know that the Great I Am, Jesus will greatly bless this event.  The Presence of the Great I AM will be felt in each area of the Benton Convention Center/Embassy Suites.  The Great I Am will permeate each room - In the Table, in the North Pole Village, in the Gift Mart, in Volunteer Central and beyond!  Know that you are volunteering for a Great Cause and you are serving the Great I Am at Christmas for the City 2016!

We look forward to seeing each of you at our preparatory worship gathering on Tuesday, December 20, at 6:30pm, in the Benton Convention Center.  If you are unable to attend the preparatory worship gathering, we look forward to partnering with you on Wednesday, December 21st for this great event, Christmas for the City!

Victoria F. Hanchell, Ed.D.