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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2006
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Lida Orr, 7, greeted each person at the Neighborhood Christian Center with a Christmas card she made.
Daily photo by Gary Lloyd
Lida Orr, 7, greeted each person at the Neighborhood Christian Center with a Christmas card she made.

Little Lida Orr knows how to give
Girl among volunteers as center give toys to children

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com 340-2437

Lida Orr greeted people with a smile and a gift as they came to the Neighborhood Christian Center on Thursday to select toys for their children.

The 7-year-old's face beamed as she presented cards that she and her sister Lucy, 4, handcrafted to give to people at the store.

Lida read the card she designed:

"God loves you. He wants you to be in heaven with him some day."

The picture she drew on the card portrays the words.

Lida was probably the youngest volunteer at the center.

Each recipient could select one new toy and one used toy per child, a stuffed animal per child, two Beanie babies, three stocking stuffers and three books.

Parents and grandparents sat in chairs on the sidewalk in front of the center. The center's co-director Pam Bolding and Lida called them in as space allowed.

Dolls, trucks, cars and games were among toys arranged on tables; stuffed animals filled boxes and books lined shelves.

Parents searched boxes of stuffed animals while others mulled over the toys.

"It's just amazing the help we've received," said Bolding.

A woman who Bolding said came to the center one day for prayer for a medical condition, was at the store Thursday.

Coming for prayer

Belinda Hopper of Decatur said when she went to the center for prayer she learned about the Christmas toy store. She applied and received her card to get toys.

As she made her selection Thursday, she said, "I think it's great. It's going to help so many children who don't get toys for Christmas — like mine. It means a lot when people give so that others can have a Christmas."

Seventy-three families registered for toys for 173 children.

Bolding said members of Sunday school classes from local churches were helping with the annual charitable event.

Also, Decatur High School juniors helped. They carried toys to vehicles for parents.

"It's an eye opener to see how people get so excited over things that we take for granted all the time," said Anna Laura Bryan.

Elizabeth Schuppert added, "It makes me feel good about helping people have toys and actually have a Christmas. It's one of the best feelings in the world."

Although much younger than the others, Lida also had a reason for being at the center.

"It's fun and I like to help others."

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