LAURINBURG —Members of the Total Woman Outreach Ministry had a good time this week wrapping presents and spending time together.
But the woman had a larger, more serious purpose amid the festive gift paper and sounds of laughter.
The group had come together to provide gifts to two needy families through the Christmas Cheer program. Ministry members provided everything from canned goods and cleaning supplies to clothing, toys and bicycles.
“We have a lot of gifts,” said Essie Davis, president and founder of the organization. “This is our first time doing Christmas Cheer and we have two families that we are going to give gifts to, to support them with Christmas gifts for their children.”
The families applied to receive gifts through Christmas Cheer, which provided a list for the Total Woman Outreach organization. Each member of Total Woman Outreach Ministry was assigned a family member to shop for.
“I had the 18-year-old and I got him sneakers, socks, dress pants, and a dress shirt with a tie because he goes to church and so I want him to look like he’s going to church,” said Linda Smith, a member from Maxton. “I said I’ll take him because I have four boys and they’re all grown.”
There are currently 13 women in the ministry.
“I want to be active in helping people and I love what they do,” Smith said, who joined the ministry in August. “I love helping people and giving back, it’s good because we get the chance to see and feel what people are going through.”
The organization was founded in 2007 by Essie Davis who created it with inspiration of believing in the holy spirit.
“This is a community based organization and all these ladies are from different churches,” Davis said. “These ladies just have a passion to carry out the vision that God gave me.”
Davis hopes to share what Total Woman has been doing in the community.
“We do a lot of other things throughout the year, we just got done with a women’s conference in the moth of October,” she said. “One of the things we started this year for Christmas is we had a chance to visit the Scottish Pines residents and we took gifts to them and sang Christmas carols.”
The mission is to provide services for women of all ages, but they are not limited to helping just women in the community.
“Coming up in 2016 we’re planning to do more in the community,” Davis said. “We want to keep our commitment to the cause.”
Davis is planning to continue the community involvement, including what they started with Christmas Cheer.
“This is the first time, but I believe we’re going to do it again next year because we are about serving, helping and supporting the community,” she said.
To contact Total Woman Outreach Ministry, call 910-361-6384.
Abby Hackmann can be reached at 910-506-3171.