PDT Staff Writer
More than 500 people attended the 9th Annual Trunk and Treat event at Pleasant Green Baptist Church Saturday.
Event Coordinator Julie Wood of Columbus, Ohio, a life-time member of Pleasant Green Baptist Church, said the inspiration to start hosting the Trunk and Treat events came from a good friend who told her about other communities where Trunk and Treat gatherings were held.
“I was telling one of my co-workers about how I try to put together Christ-centered functions for the children at Pleasant Green, and that’s when she mentioned Trunk and Treat.”
Wood said she listened to her friend’s ideas, and adapted it for Portsmouth. Wood said that support from Pleasant Green, friends, co-workers, and family has been overwhelming.
In addition to the funds that Pleasant Green allocates for the event each year, Wood said she also receives monetary donations, candy and coupons from co-workers, friends and family.
“My vision was to reach out to specific groups in the community such as 14th Street Community Center, the homeless shelter, Stepping Stones, Haley House, those who are at-risk and have certain needs,” Wood said.
Wood said that incorporating the elderly into Trunk and Treat is another special feature of the event.
“I think that it is important for young people to see, that no matter how young or old we are, we have something that we can give back to the community,” Wood said.
Two members of the local Gideon organization Don Stamper and Bill Lutz brought 550 bibles to give out to all of the event attendees.
“We are here to pass out copies of the New Testament to the trunk and treaters. Our purpose is to put the word of God in the hands of all of the youngsters and adults so that they can take it to church with them,” Stamper said.
Lutz said the Gideon organization gave out 84 million copies of the New Testament internationally in 2011.
“Curb-side care” is another component of Trunk and Treat, something Pleasant Green member, Barbara Cartwright said she enjoys overseeing.
“We offer what we call, “curb-side care” which is an act of appreciation to those that have come out to volunteer their time, their vehicle and their resources so children in the community can have some candy,” Cartwright said.
The “curb-side care” refreshments include hot caramel cakes and hot apple cider.
“It just depends upon the weather what we decide to give out, but we like to give a comfort snack,” Cartwright said.
Patricia Parker, the First Lady of Pleasant Green Baptist Church, says she always enjoys being a part of the Trunk and Treat and believes that the church’s goal was accomplished.
“Our purpose is to reach out into the community, by giving out the bibles and tracts containing the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ that we pass out. We are praying that someone will read those materials, and receive Christ as their Savior,” Parker said.
Wood said that she is ecstatic to see the event continuing to grow and looks forward to serving an even larger number of children in 2013.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.