Eastern Kentucky Christmas Ministries

backpacksMinistry centers in Eastern Kentucky and throughout Appalachia need our help in providing Christmas toys, food, and clothing.  I have recently learned about two special efforts.

Backpacks for Appalachia is a special effort to provide backpacks for children in need. Georgia Baptists have set a goal of providing 20,000 backpacks this year, but in a recent visit with Bill Barker, Director of Appalachian Regional Ministry (ARM), I learned that he has received requests for 30,000 from ministry centers throughout Appalachia. (Many of the centers are in Eastern Kentucky.)  Reaching this monumental goal will allow ARM ministries to share a gift of love along with the Gospel message, with children living in poverty throughout Appalachia this Christmas. Here are the guidelines for preparing backpacks:

  • Use one NEW, zippered backpack of any color for each child.
  • Determine whether your backpack will be for a girl or boy.
  • Select an age category: 2-4; 5-9; 10-14 years of age
  • Use a Christmas label to clearly indicate a boy or girl and the age category selected.
  • Fill the backpack with a variety of gifts. (*See below)
  • Securely tape the label to the outside of the backpack.
  • Pray specifically for the child that will receive your backpack.

*Christmas in Appalachia Gift Suggestions:
 (All gifts are to be NEW items. No used items please)
TOYS: small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch®, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), game toys, Slinky®, etc.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES: pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
HYGIENE ITEMS: toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (boxed and in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.


OTHER: hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), age-appropriate religious books, Bible, and pop-top cans of food.

NOTE from Bill Barker: The backpacks can be shipped to the address below,or if they will contact me,I will connect them with a site that still has a need and they can deliver or ship directly to them. Most will need the backpacks by December 7.
Ship to:  Bill Barker
Appalachian Regional Ministry
28 White Rock Road
Hurricane, WV 25526
Phone: 606-316-4298
Email: [email protected] or [email protected] 

Kentucky solid greenEastern Kentucky SONrise is preparing gifts for three Eastern Kentucky ministries. Here is a note from Linda Otterback about the needs.

Dear Friend of Eastern Kentucky SONrise:
If you or your church/group could help this year with our annual Christmas give away in Eastern Kentucky, we (they) would be most grateful.  I have committed to providing 500 this year to Appalachia Reach Out and Haven of Rest in Inez, and the Freeda Harris Center in Elkhorn City.

Simpsonville Baptist Church will be receiving gifts starting November 11 and wrapping them November 16-17.  The gifts will be delivered after Thanksgiving for the ministry sites to give away at their Christmas activities.   We appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity in helping.  So many people are struggling due to coal mine shut downs and the need is great.

The following is a suggested list of needed items:
– Shampoo, soaps, hand sanitizers
– Toothpaste,  toothbrushes
– Wash cloths
– Combs, brushes
– Hats, mittens, scarves
– Socks. underwear
– Toys for appropriate age (no used or fast food meal toys)
– Christian books or materials (coloring books, devotionals)Please DO NOT WRAP.  Deliver items to Simpsonville Baptist Church, 7208 Shelbyville Road, Simpsonville, KY  40067. Call Linda Otterback with questions.  Phone: 502-245-8003.

Thank you so very much for your kindness. Financial contributions are also accepted for those who may want to help but do not have time to shop or are at a distance.

Love Through HIM,
Linda Otterback , MSC Eastern KY SONrise, KBC, NAMB

Other Kentucky Ministries: For information about helping a Kentucky ministry or adopting a Kentucky missionary, contact Teresa Parrett, Missions Mobilization Consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.  Learn more at: www.kybaptist.org/missionsmobilization
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