Pastor A. Glenn Brady of New Bethel Church, 745 Walker Ave., Kansas City, Kan., has been emphasizing the message, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive,” this Christmas season.

In keeping with that message, the church is giving away free holiday gifts for the entire family on Thursday, Dec. 18, and Friday, Dec. 19.

The Christmas community outreach event, “Celebrate the Giving,” will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18, and Friday, Dec. 19, at the church.

There are hundreds of new and gently used clothing items, shoes, toys, household items, furniture, appliances, electronics and other items that will be given away, said Amaris Brady, communications and marketing director at the church.

She said there will be no charge to anyone attending the event, and anyone may attend to receive one free bag of gift items.

She said many of the items have been bought by members of the church, and some were donated by church members. Several organizations also contributed funds to purchase items, she said.

The church also held the giveaway last year.

“It was such a success, we wanted to continue it,” Brady said. “We did have a good turnout.”

Some families may be having a difficult time this year with being able to afford holiday gifts, and the church hopes this effort will be a blessing to the entire area this season.

“Pastor Brady has been emphasizing the importance of giving this holiday season,” she said. “It’s not all about receiving. As the Bible states, it’s more blessed to give than to receive. This topic motivated us as a church and as a ministry to do something about it.”

The church will not be asking those who attend for any money or donations, she said.

Plans are to hold the event on both days regardless of the weather. In the event of inclement weather, persons also may call the church at 913-281-2002.

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Salvation Army volunteers will help pack 5,500 food boxes for needy families on Saturday.

About 175 volunteers will assemble at the Salvation Army at 1110 E. Truman Road in Kansas City, Mo., and fill 5,500 food boxes to distribute to families who have applied for Christmas assistance from the Salvation Army in the Kansas City metro area, a spokesman said.

Working in assembly line fashion, the volunteers will build and then fill 5,500 boxes with all the fixings for a holiday meal, including ham, potatoes, stuffing and green beans, plus everyday staples such as flour, sugar, macaroni and cheese, and peanut butter.

A number of businesses, schools and churches have donated food to the project, including Russell Stover Candy, Zerega Pasta, Cosentino’s Food Stores, the Haun Potato Co. and affiliated potato growers and Pratt Industries, which donated the boxes.

In addition to the food boxes, The Salvation Army provides toys for 16,000 children in Kansas City each Christmas. The food boxes and toys are distributed a few days before Christmas from The Salvation Army’s eight community centers in the Kansas City metropolitan area. To donate or to learn more about The Salvation Army, go to or call 816-756-1455.