Festival of Three Kings to make Christmas special for foster children

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter 

HELENA — Christmastime is one of the most joyous times of the year, and to ensure that children in foster care are able to experience that joy, Helena United Methodist Church is sponsoring all foster children under Shelby County DHR through their Festival of Three Kings event.

According to Director of Missions Sherri Smith, the festival is an annual event that the church has been doing for the past 10 years where members of the church will provide Christmas gifts to the children in foster care to make sure they have a special holiday.

“This is our 11th annual Festival of Three Kings where we sponsor all of the foster children of Shelby County DHR,” Smith said. “This year we are sponsoring 155 children.”

The church is also partnering with the Buck Creek Masonic Lodge of Alabaster who will provide a pair of shoes for each child that is gifted.

During normal years the church would also sponsor an in-person event with games, however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is not currently possible.

The church plans to distribute gifts to the children on the morning of Dec. 12 with a special surprise waiting for them.

“We plan on scheduling the foster families to drive to the church on that Saturday, Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. until noon. They will pick up their gift bags along with a stuffed stocking from the Shelby County Foster Parents Association,” Smith said. “Santa will be on hand to greet the families when the arrive.”

The event is one of the church’s largest community outreach programs and strives to “share the love of Christ in a tangible way,” according to Smith.

While the event is a mission specific to church members, Helena UMC does accept donations which could mailed to their church office or through a form on their website at Helenaumc.org.