Pasco Riverview Church Helps Community Christmas Project Turns Dreams into Reality
Betty Cummings is a member of Riverview Church in Pasco, Wash. She works as a public-health nurse for the Spanish community in the Tri-Cities area, and has seen first-hand the needs of families with disabled children. She thought how wonderful it would be if her local church could provide food and gifts to these families for Christmas.
Betty and fellow church member LeEllen Bradshaw, Adventist Community Services director, planned a food and toy drive for these families with special needs. Betty went to visit each family and made a list of every family member, including age and gender.
Larry Swisher, a dentist and Pathfinder club leader, donated his and the Pathfinders' time to repair 15 second-hand children’s bicycles, many donated by the local police, fixing them up so that they looked almost new.
Participants Teddy Shupe, Pasco Riverview Church pastor, Betty Cummings, Bob and LeEllen Bradshaw, Mike and Jan Iriex, Bernie and Heff Haman, Montel Engeberg, David and Gail Dickerson, and several deacons packed boxes of food to be given along with the donated toys, bicycles, and Christmas trees to the families.
Cummings had given every family a number and time to come and pick up the items at the church, planning ahead for smooth delivery. On Dec. 19, 2004, at 3 p.m., with the help of many active church members who were eager to participate and Shupe's leadership, the Riverview Church turned a dream into a reality, donating much-needed and appreciated items to more than 20 families in the Tri-Cities area.