Christmas came early for more than 600 children who received toys Saturday at Robertson Road Park as part of a Modesto church ministry.
There were stuffed animals for the younger ones as well as dolls, board games and sports equipment for the older children. Their parents received shopping bags full of food.
Calvary Temple's Nineveh Outreach ministers to the poor on Saturdays at Robertson Road and Oregon parks. This was the last Saturday of the year until the ministry resumes in April.
Nineveh's park ministry includes giving out food and clothing, medical care, repairing bicycles and telling the children about God's love for them. And on this Saturday toys. (Nineveh gave out toys last Saturday to more than 300 children at Oregon Park.)
Nineveh Outreach Director Chuck Cutsinger said Calvary Temple Pastor Glen Berteau said churches have an obligation to help the poor and less fortunate in their communities.
The outreach is appreciated.
"It's awesome," said Kristin Sires, 29, as she waited for each of her five sons to get a toy. "We come most Saturdays for the help, the food and the church."
Sires said money is tight in her home and she probably could afford to buy a "cheap toy" for each of her sons so it meant a lot to get something nice.
Calvary Temple launched Nineveh in 1997 to help feed the hungry. The outreach program partners with other churches, and it operates in more than a dozen Northern California communities besides Modesto.
The outreach ministry runs from April through early December each year at Oregon and Robertson Road parks.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2316.