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Community Service, Toy Drive

Staff Report

WATER VALLEY –  As the calendar marches toward Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, several events are planned in the Valley.    

    Churchs, individuals and organizations will join together next Wednesday night, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. for a community Thanksgiving service at Water Valley Methodist Church.

    “This is an opportunity for  people from different churches and denominations to join together for a time of fellowship, thanksgiving and worship,” reported Rev. Raymond Aven, the scheduled speaker for the service. Each year, a different pastor in the community leads the service.

    “We call it community unity service,” said Aven who serves as pastor of New Hope Church of God in Batesville. Music will be provided by Rev. Roger Howell and the praise and worship team from Adonia Church.

    An offering will be taken at the service for a Thanksgiving meal the following day.

    This meal, which has been offered in the community for over five years, will be served beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Water Valley Cafe located at 1119 North Main Street.

    “We never turn anyone away,” Aven said about the meal, although he encourages anyone who plans to attend to contact a Compassion Ministry board member or Aven at 473-6606 for a ticket.

    “This is not based on financial critera,” Aven said. Police officers and fire fighters on duty as well as jail inmates are fed in this event.

    Compassion Ministry volunteers are also ready to kick off their annual toy drive. This year, as in years past, hundreds of new toys will be collected and donated to the children of Compassion Ministries food recipients.

    Anyone who wishes to participate in this very worthwhile cause may do so by contacting involved persons in any of the participating churches. The toys are to be brought to the Community Service at First United Methodist Church on November 21.

    “We usually give toys to about 200 kids,” Aven said of the drive. Toys will be accepted until the first or second week in December.

    The community-wide toy drive typically garners a wide range of support – from employees at the county’s largest employer, BorgWarner, to individual donors.

    Any individual, church, or other organization wishing to join these efforts may do so by contacting Rev. Aven at (662) 473-6606. Those wishing to make donations may do so via checks made to “Compassion Ministries” and sent to Compassion Ministries, c/o Carroll Crenshaw, 70 County Road 386, Water Valley, MS 38965.

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