Angel Tree gift distribution at First Baptist Church. (l-r): BSVFD Capt. Ken Danapas; Angel Tree Coordinators Jonathan and Tiffany Lawrence; Agape House Director Sharon Hill. Courtesy photo

We’ve all heard “God never closes one door without opening another.” This was evident with two phone calls Tiffany Lawrence received. First, a little background: The Big Sandy Ministerial Alliance/Agape house has sponsored the Angel Tree Project for many years, with Boo and Marsha Buchheit serving as coordinators. Trees are placed at Austin Bank and First National Bank-Big Sandy Branch, decorated with local Angels’ names and their Christmas wish lists. Last year Tiffany and husband, Jonathan, took over and had a very successful drive.

Tiffany Lawrence with 2017 Angel Tree Gifts.

Back to the phone calls: As Tiffany prepared for this year’s Angels, she received a call saying one of the large toy drives (which also contributes monetarily) was not going to be held. Immediately, Tiffany did the only thing she knew would work…she talked to God. The next phone call she received was from Ken Danapas, captain with the Big Sandy Volunteer Fire Department, saying the Fire Department wanted to adopt any remaining Angels.

In years past, money was budgeted to provide Christmas gifts for two families, but the firefighters found it increasingly difficult to choose just two. They decided to assist with the Angel Tree Project so they could help on a broader scale. Danapas also contacted the folks at Circle M Crawfish Stand and they offered their support through two live concerts, sponsorship, and allowed VFD members to collect donations during the concerts. As a result, $1,006 was raised, enough to provide for the thirty-one Angels adopted.

Firefighter Mike Moseley accepts donation from gentleman at Circle M. Photo by Linda Baggett

When gift distribution day came at First Baptist Church, eighty-three Angels received their “wishes” and more. The generosity of these organizations and businesses – Ministerial Alliance/Agape House (Tiffany and Jonathan Lawrence, Sharon Hill), Austin Bank, First National Bank-Big Sandy Branch, Circle M Crawfish Stand, Big Sandy Volunteer Fire Department, along with awesome community members – showed love to so many.

Angel Tree at Austin Bank. Agape House Director Sharon Hill; BSVFD Capt. Ken Danapas; Austin Bank’s Mary Lingle; and BSVFD Chief Jeff Jones. Photo by Linda Baggett
Angel Tree at FNB. (l-r) Agape House Director Sharon Hill; BSVFD Capt. Ken Danapas; FNB’s Carla Lucas; and BSVFD Chief Jeff Jones. Photo by Linda Baggett

On behalf of the BSVFD, Danapas sends thanks to all who helped with this event and says the firefighters feel blessed to have been able to assist. He also asked that the public be made aware of a special account at Austin Bank – Big Sandy Volunteer Fire Department: Donations – that can receive donations year-round. This fund is not used for FD operations, but is for fire-related needs and emergencies in our community, such as providing smoke detectors for those who cannot afford them.

And remember, the next time God closes a door in your life, do what Tiffany did…talk to Him and wait for that next open door!