88th Street Temple Church of God In Christ (COGIC) and L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas partnered to present the “Miracles on 88th Street” community event on Dec. 21 and more than 400 people of all ages enjoyed the variety of activities.
“For our second annual event, it was important to me to make sure that I was serving the needs of our community. So, we added free winter coats, free toiletries and free haircuts for men, women and children,” said Superintendent Anthony L. Williams, senior pastor.
“Also, we thank Minister Byron Luke and Ronald Graves, owner of Hair Architects. He and his outstanding team of barbers provided free haircuts to 65 people!”
Sharing similar comments, Sherri Smith Reese, event coordinator, added, “We were excited that L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva attended and gave out gifts to the youth.” The gifts included bicycles donated by 88th Street Temple, Robert Saucedo of Community Build and the office of Councilmember Herb Wesson. In addition, Elder Larry Broussard of Intelligent Technology Integration Solutions and L.A. County Stentorians Alexis Kendrick and Anthony Dixon distributed new toys to the children.
General Lee served as deejay and played inspirational music as attendees visited the petting zoo filled with rabbits, lambs and goats and rode the Trackless Train around during the event. Also, a photo booth allowed families to pose together and receive a print from Lance as well as enjoy Chef T. Jackson’s Christmas cookie decorating station.
Acknowledging the agencies that volunteered staff and services, Linda Bronson-Abbott, event director said, “We thank deputy Omar Prioleau of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ office, Los Angeles County Fire Captain Sheen and Station 14 firefighters for participating.”
Vendors included Watts Health, who provided free crafts for children; L.A. Department of Transportation’s transit outreach team, who dispersed giveaways; and Allied Security Protection Services and the South Bureau Ministerial Alliance, who distributed 100 teddy bears and puzzles. Professor Iris Stevenson McCullough and the Crenshaw High School Elite gospel choir also performed.
Other community partners were the Coalition for Responsible Community Development and Bridge Housing and PRIMESTOR as well as community leaders, business owners and nonprofit in the Athens neighborhood.
“Miracles on 88th Street” developed from the vision of Pastor Williams and First Lady Bukeka Williams. The spiritual leaders designed the event “to serve our community by bringing hope and free activities for all ages to enjoy!”
For information, visit 88thstreettemple.org.