To all P4AC Members
Remember you do not have to be a poker player to be a member of P4AC. You just need to be a person who wants to help. Thanks to all that helped whether part of our live forum in Dallas, Tx, our online poker rooms at Aced & Carbon Poker and forum or both. Please read on to see how your gift what ever it was or your game play at P4AC Poker has helped people this holiday season.
Kim Everett | December 29, 2012
Local children’s ministry, C.O.O.L. (Children of our Lord) Kids, founded by NaKina Talbert and her husband Tom, recently hosted a Christmas party for 105 underserved children. This was the fourth Christmas celebration hosted by the Talberts, but it was the first one held in Garland.
In all, 210 children were served this holiday season, which includes gifts delivered to a group of Taiwanese refugee children.
The couple recently moved its ministry to South Garland after research showed that numerous programs serve inner city children, but there aren’t many in the suburbs. “When a family is living in poverty they are typically in survival mode,” Talbert said. “They have little time or energy to focus on their children’s spiritual, educational or emotional needs.”
C.O.O.L. Kids is a Christian ministry that children can attend Saturday mornings and get a hot breakfast, have Bible study, receive mentoring, do arts and crafts, play games and get one on one attention. Talbert believes that this shows them that people care and gives them hope for a better future. The children can also get free used clothing and shoes, school supplies, and a take home lunch, as most of them are on the assisted lunch program during the week but may only eat one meal a day on weekends.
Elks Lodge #1984 provided the space for this year’s party. “This is the first year the Elks have been involved but it will not be the last,” Talbert said.
The organization had lost its venue four weeks before the party and the members of the Elks Lodge offered their facility. After hearing more about what the children’s ministry was doing, the lodge had toy and food drives and collected more than 200 toys and many pounds of food. They also supplied volunteer staff, raised monetary donations, provided pizza for the party, along with storage and drop off for donations, and gave lots of moral support. The Elks have also agreed to let C.O.O.L. Kids use the lodge for its weekly ministry as well as for other events.
The families that benefit from the party are either living in section 8 or government subsidized housing or in shelters. They register each child at least a month in advance. “The Lord brings them to me…I don’t know how else to describe it other than that,” Talbert said.
Talbert found out about a section 8 complex near the lodge and went to speak to the manager. “When I walked in the office she was talking with someone about how there were 40 families in the complex that would not have a Christmas this year,” she said. “It’s a God thing.”
A complex that houses Taiwanese refugee families also contacted her and asked for help. “It took us from over 100 on our list to over 200,” she said. “But we knew if God brought them to us then He would provide, and He sure did.”
All the children at the party received a bag of gifts and a Build A Bear and enjoyed making Christmas ornaments, decorating cookies, and having their picture taken with Santa.
The ministry received lots of help from Firewheel Church families who sponsored more than 150 of the kids’ wish lists; Allen’s Norton Elementary School; Plano’s Lifepoint Church; Advantage Storage and Walgreen’s, both in Sachse; Wounded Warriors of Texas; residents in Woodbridge; Terri Jackson and Control Manufacturing; Kathy Senase and her team at AT&T; and the Bys family who raised 125 Build A Bears. They are also grateful for the help of Rhanda and Nicole Holden and Patrick and Chrissy Wallis and family, along with countless other volunteers too numerous to mention.
“But mostly, thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for allowing us to serve Him,” Talbert said.