By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
Some students at Henderson Ward Stewart and East Oktibbeha County Elementary School will receive a special Christmas gift courtesy of the congregation at Second Baptist Church.
The church donated bicycles to children in need at each school just in time for the holiday season.
“I’m a former principal in the Starkville School District, and I wanted to stay connected in some kind of way. In my role as a pastor, we know that this season is a time for giving,” Pastor Joseph Stone said. “So I decided to challenge my church with a 50-bike drive to donate not only to the Starkville School District, but to the Oktibbeha County School District.”
The church donated a total of 58 bicycles — 42 to Henderson Ward Stewart and 16 to East Oktibbeha County Elementary School.
“Bikes are one of those things that bring the children lots of joy. I got a lot of joy when I had mine,” Stone said. “It’s also to hopefully get them outside. I know that many of the toys they play with are electronic, and so I hope this gift will help get them outside so they can become active.”
School administrators and counselors selected the students based on need. Stone said his church wanted to make sure to give the children a Christmas they’d never forget.
“We are a church, and we are to act as the hand of God. We believe that God has blessed us with the means and resources to give, and oftentimes during this season we forget the reason we celebrate Christmas,” he said. “We wanted to demonstrate what the season is all about by giving back to our community.”