Matters of the Heart 9th Annual Christmas Toys for Tots event

BY RAVEN JOY SHONEL, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — Matters of the Heart Radio Ministry hosted its 9th Annual Christmas Toys for Tots Christmas Celebration Saturday, Dec. 10 at Glad Tidings Assembly of God.  The event was hosted by radio personality Princess Denise Wright from Praise 1590 AM WRXB & 96.5 FM Radio.

For nine years, Wright and her ministry has hosted this event to bless poverty stricken families in the community because it was a time in her life when she relied on the generosity of others.

Raising three children as a single parent, Wright is no stranger to the hardships that many families are up against, especially in the current economic climate.

“Many times I didn’t have food in the refrigerator, lights were off, water was off, car broke down, getting evicted,” she said.

But while attending New Mt Olive Primitive Baptist Church some three decades ago, a member approached her confessing to having turned in her name as a recipient for a food basket.

“I remember that,” Wright said. In fact it is this very type of act of kindness that has fueled her all these years to keep giving back. “Somebody was always thinking of me, they knew I needed help.”

Although it’s been a long time since Wright needed assistance herself, she will never forget Mother Dora Livingston and Mother Emma Davis who reached out to her when she was in need.

Each year she gives back with the help of the community. This year’s event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Senior Pastor Dr. Randy Helms of Glad Tidings Assembly of God and his congregation who always financially support her efforts along with donations from Walmart, community members and even Wright’s own pocket book was tapped.

At the time of the celebration, 15 families totaling 65 children were blessed with two toys for each child and a $50 gift certificate from Walmart.

But before the giveaways and food, there were musical selections by Word of Life Fellowship Youth Choir, Agape Kingdom Singers from Bay Vista Church of Christ and “Amazing Grace” sung by Madison Chartier.

The praise dancers that everyone clapping included For God’s Glory Community Praise and Mime Ministry, Favors Second Generation and Glorious Praise Pantomime. Storytelling time with performed by Veronica James and Pastor Roger and Marge Asselin delivered a powerful prayer for the children.

This year’s Mistress of Ceremony was Evangelist Lynette Hicks and Beverly Sanders gave the welcome.

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