During the month of December 2021, the jail ministries team of the Tullahoma, Tenn., Church distributed more than 900 gifts bags to prisoners in five different jail counties.
On the weekend of December 11 and 12, 2021, Madison Acade- my, Tenn., welcomed communitymembers to its annual Foster Family Party and Nashville Rescue Mission Banquet. The Christmas celebration included a spe- cial meal, gifts, and a show performed by the school’s gymnastic team.
The Foster Family Party was held on Saturday night, December 11, where more than 20 children and their families attend- ed. Along with dinner, the guests got to participate in a cookie decorating activity. The following day more than 50 women from Nashville, Tenn., Rescue Mission also got to experience a similar program.
Entertainment was provided by Mad- ison Academy’s gymnastic team, Acros. Saturday they worked in collaboration with Acros Hawks, and Sunday they were joined by Gymnix —Madison Campus Elementary and Highland Acad- emy’s gymnastic team, respectively.
“I hope that the visitors experienced joyin the gifts we offered them and that they saw God’s love through that,” said Joshua Taylor, Madison Academy freshman.
The student gymnasts also helped set up, clean up, and act as servers during the meal.
“As teenagers, of course they love the applause they receive [during performance],” said Kris Fuentes, Madison Academy principal, “but they also love serving a plate, filling up somebody’s cup with juice, handing out an apple pie, hugging the children, and sharing a smile.”
These Christmas celebrations weremade possible through the donations of various organizations, including Walmart, Publix, Olive Garden, and Nourish Christian Market Place. Madison Academy parents also made monetary donations to purchase gifts for the visitors, and some even assisted during the event.
“I believe that you should take any opportunity you have to serve,” said Jennifer Downs, mother of a senior at Madison Academy. Downs and her hus- band, Brandon, served food during the Sunday program. “That’s what I want to teach my son: It’s so much fun to give. It’s actually more fun than Christmas itself because you’re just getting to give Christmas to somebody else.”
This is the fifth year Madison Acade- my hosted the Nashville Rescue Mission Banquet and the second year it prepared the Foster Family Party. The school was awarded the Volunteer Tennessee Award of Excellence on December 3, 2021 — a recognition given to K-12 schools actively engaged in public service.
Kentucky-Tennessee | February 2022
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