Manna From Heaven raises funds, gives gifts

The past two months have been a busy time for the Manna From Heaven food ministry.

On Nov. 9 there was a benefit motorcycle ride at Big Daddy’s Sports Bar on U.S. 411 South. In addition to the ride, entertainment was provided by the Robbie Ducey Band. Then, on Nov. 22, there was a benefit motorcycle ride and toy drive at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson Buell and the Dixie Werewolves performed. Admission was one toy and a bag of candy.

Then on Dec. 13 at New Visions Church of God on U.S 411 South, Manna From Heaven had a community Christmas party for area underprivileged children and their families. Stephanie Stieler, who leads Manna From Heaven, said they gave out more than 150 bags of food to area families to provide them food through the New Year’s holiday.

Stieler said the events were all successful. “It went very well. Companies drove in with truckloads of food. Tristar came in with truckloads of food,” she said of the drives.

Dixie Iron Riders led the ride on Nov. 9 and Nov. 22. “It was very cold, but very successful. We had 145 gifts that day,” she said.

Stieler said the charity from Blount County residents and companies didn’t stop on Nov. 22.

“Two weeks before Christmas, private people and companies just came in with so many gifts. One company came in with 250 gifts,” Stieler said. “I had one person ask what we needed, and she went and shopped.”

At the party, Stieler said the group’s volunteers gave gifts to more than 280 children.

“What was so amazing was companies like Hicks and Law who brought a popcorn machine. I packed 250 candy bags for the children. It was just so good,” Stieler said. “We thought we had 350 there with adults,” she said.

Stieler thanked those who made the event possible. “The people of Blount County and companies with their open hearts made a difference,” she said.

Stieler said there were enough gifts for 412 children and Dixie Iron Riders took the toys that were left and donated them to the Boys and Girls Club of Blount County.

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