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Christmas Miracle


On Saturday, December 21, 2013, we held our Fourth Annual Christmas Breakfast Celebration at St. Mark’s Baptist Church.  For those who helped pull it together, we have come to see this year’s event as our Christmas miracle.

The morning of the 21st was cold, wet and windy.  It was a day that made your face turn numb as soon as you stepped outside.  But Old Man Winter wasn’t the only Grinch lurking about.  Our dear friend and long-time community contributor, Pat Berry, was the victim of theft.  Twenty-four hours before our planned event was to take place, thieves broke into Mr. Berry’s truck and stole everything inside of it, including the items he had collected to use during the celebration and gifts for our community members.  Along with other businesses in the community, Mr. Berry’s business, Vickery Wholesale Greenhouse, was to host this year’s event, and just like that, all of his fundraising efforts were gone.

In the wake of this news and despite the frigid cold of the morning, we witnessed the spirit of Christmas come alive when volunteers rolled up their sleeves and prepared the breakfast meals in their own homes and then delivered them to the church.  As a result of their quick thinking and valiant efforts the doors to St. Mark’s opened as planned with Mr. Berry ready to assist. Our community members had shelter from the cold, a delicious hot breakfast, and wonderful holiday cheer.  Our volunteers also went on to prepare and package helpings of breakfast meals and turkey dinners that were then distributed to our senior citizens in the Jubilee Park area.  Afterwards, Santa and his helpers made their rounds to the residents at Brentwoods Retirement center, making the season a little merrier for some older citizens, many of whom have had a significant, positive influence on our lives.  Brentwoods residents expressed much happiness and gratitude when they received a new warm pair of socks and underwear.  It was heartwarming to see the socks being worn by the residents that very same day.

This year’s event was special to so many of us since it was also dedicated to a fellow neighbor and friend.  Don Kempt was a gifted man who had helped to make a big difference in the community, he owned and operated Kemp Sheet Metal Works for over 40 years.  His caring and dedication touched many and we were honored to be able to pay him tribute.  In our own effort of overcoming a theft and frigid weather conditions, we were reminded how every day people like Don and Pat face the hurdles of life and somehow manage to keep joy in their hearts and give back to those around them.  We are humbled today and everyday to live among such wonderful souls in our great community.

Our celebration this year was indeed saved by the dedicated, generous and loving volunteers and local business owners who worked tirelessly to make our Fourth Annual Christmas Breakfast come together.  Thanks to all who donated and participated in this event.  For we now truly believe that no matter how big or small it is, a Christmas miracle is still … well, a miracle.

Cheers to a safe and Happy New Year.


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