Toyland for Christmas

Manna from Heaven hosts Christmas party to distribute toys, food, fun

More than 150 underprivileged children got some of their wishes fulfilled recently during the second annual Manna from Heaven holiday party for the less fortunate.

The Second Annual Blount County Children’s Christmas Party was held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Maryville on Dec. 12.

“The Christmas Party that we do for the children involved a lot of volunteers this year,” Stephanie Stieler, Manna From Heaven director, said. “We had several churches, local businesses and organizations donate time and other items to the Children’s Christmas Party.”

Stieler said when families arrived they were given a meal and dessert, enjoyed a Christmas program orchestrated by local pastors and choirs, presented with balloons donated by the Girl Scouts and books each child. A local photographer, Images Coterie, took free photographs of the children and/or their families with Santa.

Before they left, each child received toys, a Bible, candy, donated clothing and enough food to last them through the holidays. Members of the Dixie Iron Riders helped present the toys to the youngsters this year. The group had a motorcycle ride to support Manna From Heaven earlier in the year that brought in toys and donations.

The volunteers served 500 people, Stieler estimates, and about 200 children. “They were so excited,” Stieler said of the children. “They enjoyed the Christmas program and gifts so much. I just want to thank all of Blount County who supported it.”

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