December 19, 2023

Jackson homeless ministry holds Christmas festival at Mississippi Trade Mart

Elijah Mangum

Wingard Home, a Christian homeless ministry in Jackson, hosted their 34th annual “Happy Birthday, Jesus” Christmas Festival at the MS Trade Mart on Saturday.

More than 200 children from 65 families, known as Little Lambs, were sponsored and given a meal, games, crafts, gifts, and a gospel message from the Christmas story in Luke 2.

Charolette Wingard, who co-founded the Wingard home with her late husband, started this tradition in 1990.

“Some of these families sit at home and wonder if anyone really cares,” said Wingard. “They are distress, get depressed, and their financials are off. This an encouragement for them during the Christmas season.”

Dozens of volunteers from local churches, ministries and companies gathered to love on the children and not only meet their physical needs but their spiritual ones.

“We formulated this event, so we can interact with the children after we help them,” said Wingard. “We can meet the parents and the parents can meet the local church people. It’s more than just a party, it’s evangelism.”

Many of the families didn’t open the gifts immediately upon receiving them instead they put them under their tree as these are the only gifts they will be given this year. One of these families were the Jacksons of Jackson.

“No one had to do this for the less fortunate,” said Marie Jackson. “It’s the time of the year for giving, love and kindness. So, it means alot.”

For others like single mom of four Kalandera Stokes from Pelahatchie, it would not be possible grant their children’s Christmas wishes without the help of the ministry.

“I was looking for help to get what my kids wanted that I could not get them for Christmas,” said Stokes. “I was told about Wingard. I brought my kids here and they got everything they ask for.”

For more information on the Wingard Home, visit here.

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