212 Midland County families need sponsorship this Christmas

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 6:37 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2023 at 6:43 PM CST
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - The magic of Christmas morning is a special time for families, especially children.

For some families, it’s not possible to put gifts under the tree. One nonprofit wants to change that reality for more than 1,000 Midland County kids.

Nonprofit 3:11 Ministry has provided bags of gifts to Midlanders for about a decade, but this year, many families still need assistance.

There are 221 families who still need a group, business or individual to sponsor them. Those families may have one to eight children hoping for a visit from Santa.

The ministry’s current stock of red and green sacks represents about 30% of the gifts the organization wants to give.

Their three person staff relies on the community to make it happen, Director Sally Stafford said.

“We are down to about three weeks before distribution day when families come to pick up gifts,” Stafford said. “And three people just cannot pack gift bags where each child is getting 10-15 items for over the 600 plus that we still need help sponsoring.”

Every child receives a pair of shoes, two pairs of pants, two shirts, a jacket, a blanket, stockings filled with toiletries, plus toys and other wishes.

The nonprofit works with MISD, so all donations remain in Midland County.

“Every child in this community deserves to have a good Christmas and we want every parent to be able to let their child believe in the magic of Christmas,” Stafford said. “Whatever we can do to facilitate that, that’s what we’re going to do.”

The ministry aims to help kids beyond Christmas, said Jay Whitlow, a board member.

“I know Christmas is where everybody gets real giddy and wants to serve and volunteer because of the season, but this organization works year-round,” Whitlow said. “We are not afraid to do work that has no end.”

When families come to pick up gifts on Dec. 9, the warehouse will be empty again.

“We want to be loaded and supplied all year long. So I just encourage people not just to support 3:11 during Christmas, but all year long,” Whitlow said.

To sponsor a family, you can visit the 3:11 Ministry website or social media pages. If you don’t want to shop for gifts, but want to help, you can also make a donation and a volunteer will shop for you.