OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – If you experienced some traffic back up on the northeast side of Oklahoma City Saturday morning, it was probably for a good cause.
A huge holiday giving event is quickly becoming a December tradition that is benefiting the needy all over the state.
“We are just trying to be a blessing to the people of the great state of Oklahoma,” said Pastor Derrick Scobey, of the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Judging by the line of cars early Saturday morning, Pastor Scobey and his friends are succeeding in that.
Starting around 11 a.m. Saturday morning at Ebenezer Baptist Church, volunteers were handing out a cornucopia of holiday cheer as part of the 2nd Annual Christmas Community Giveaway.
“There is a two-mile- long line of folks who pulled up at 12 o’clock last night and have been here and so that’s how great the need is here in this area and in Oklahoma as a whole,” said Quincy Walker, of World Visions.
The church at N.E. 36th and Kelley teamed up with World Visions, a Global Christian humanitarian non-profit, to hand out an estimated $250,000 in goods to the needy.
“Community doesn’t just mean the northeast side of OKC. It’s really people from all around the state of Oklahoma,” said Scobey.
Pastor Scobey says people drove in from as far away as the Kansas border for everything from sofas to shelving and bug zappers to beauty supplies. Kids got a chance to pick out that perfect holiday toy.
Current Oklahoma State School Superintendent and gubernatorial candidate Joy Hofmeister and her family were part of the 100-plus volunteers on hand to help give back.
She says the pandemic has made the need even more apparent this year.
“It has further exacerbated the needs of many in Oklahoma and so the community at Ebenezer Baptist Church coming out and working with neighborhoods and working in the community to meet their needs is something that we want to see stretching all across the state. We know the need is great,” said Hofmeister.
Merchandise wasn’t the only thing given away at the event.
St. Luke’s Church and the Regional Food Bank handed out over 400 food baskets.
Also, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department administered vaccines and boosters for all eligible ages. Organizers estimate thousands were helped on this chilly Saturday morning.
“I am these people. I grew up on welfare and food stamps. I grew up in deep poverty, so I understand. I know what it feels like. So we want to make sure we are here for our people to serve them,” said Pastor Scobey.
He says they don’t just do these giveaways for the holidays, there are events year-round.
For more information, visit the church’s website.