This Christmas will be quite a bit brighter for vulnerable children in East Texas thanks to employees at Applied Consultants who purchased more than $30,000 in toys for the Buckner Christmas Market in East Texas.
Volunteers unloaded a trailer-load of toys Dec. 10, including bicycles, scooters, slides, tricycles, small vehicles, dolls, games and more.
Applied Consultants President/CEO Matt Cheney praised employees’ commitment to helping others. Employees voluntarily gave of their resources to make this Christmas better for people in need locally.
“Look into your hearts, find ways to give back: That's the way we should look into this time of year – being able to find ways to light the world as Christ lit it,” Cheney told Fox 51 in Longview. “Give back to organizations, to people who don't have the same things we have and be able to share these things with them.”
The market is for families who participated in Buckner programs all year. They took classes, worked with a parent educator, met family coaching goals and attended special events. Some Buckner families even earned bonus points for volunteering or having perfect attendance. Items at the market are not handouts, as everything was earned through diligence and commitment to provide for their families.
Susan Williams, director of the Buckner Family Hope Center in Longview, said the gifts make a practical difference in the lives of families during this December.
"While Christmas is a joyous time for many, it's a stressful time for vulnerable East Texas families who try to stretch already thin budgets to provide gifts for their children," she said. "We are thankful for the generosity of the community and their willingness to walk alongside the families we serve as they work toward their goals."