Christmas Gift Giving by Local Church Helps Change Lives

By Belinda Hoyt

Friends of Francis is a community outreach program formed by members of the congregation of Westminster by the Sea Presbyterian church in Daytona Beach Shores. Their mission of love and peace helps to change lives by helping others in need. This year the congregation, under the direction of Tobias Caskey, was instrumental in fulfilling the needs of many individuals with developmental disabilities served by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).

Waiver Support Coordinators with individuals on the APD Medicaid waiver, along with State Coordinators overseeing individuals on the APD waiting list were asked to select individuals in need of Christmas gifts. Those individuals created a wish list of items that they are unable to afford for themselves. The lists are given to Caskey, and he and others from Friends of Francis organize the congregation in a drive to purchase items to make a Christmas to remember for the individuals receiving the gifts.

Often, financial hardships, poor health, or the death of a parent or family member creates a void in the life of an individual. The Friends of Francis community outreach program reaches out and makes the Christmas holiday better; giving them hope, love, and peace to move forward and begin changing their lives.

Friends of Francis gift donations.