ELDORADO -- A crowd of Eldorado residents got the chance to pick up decorations and toys for the holidays thanks to a Monday event provided by Star General Baptist Church.
It's an annual event whereby donations for toys and decorations are made available to people from the local community who have need for either or both, according to Star pastor Aaron Phelps.
"This is one of the many ways we try to give back to our community," Phelps said.
Church member Carol Hines, one of the many of Star's church women Star's church who help with the event, said she's always pleasantly surprised how much people have to give.
"We weren't sure if we would have enough things donated this year, but the Lord always provides," Hines said, before the "shopping spree" began at 10 a.m.
Those participating don't pay anything for the donated items. They are to be used as home decorations or Christmas gifts for their families.
It's a chance for the church to lend a hand to those who may not have much at Christmastime, church member Jan Rash said.
"All across southern Illinois, but especially around here, there is such a need," Rash said. "We're happy to be able to help provide for that need."
Associate pastor Jeff Robinson said additional community outreach is coming to Eldorado soon. The church is converting the old Western Auto building, which most recently was an antique store, into a community outreach center.
"We have several things planned once we get up and running," Robinson said. "When the church is four miles out of town, sometimes it's a lot to ask folks to drive out there. This way, we'll have a presence here in town."
Phelps, the church's pastor, said he's proud of the work done for the Christmastime giveaway.
"Other than saving souls, which is the most important thing, this is the greatest thing our women work for," Phelps said. "They do a tremendous job for our community."