Twenty-two years ago this Christmas Season, a very dedicated lady named Nicky Warren and a dear friend followed God’s lead and began to provide Christmas Cards for local Nursing Homes and various other healthcare facilities near their home. Every year for 18 years and assisting in the 19th year, Nicky carried this ministry forward.
But, during 2012, Nicky’s friend went home to be with Jesus, leaving Nicky alone to carry on this wonderful ministry alone. Her own health failing, Nicky began to pray that God would somehow work it out to let this wonderful ministry continue.
Early in the Christmas Season in late November, 2013, Nicky came to the offices of Joy Christian Radio in search of a location that would be willing to have people drop off their cards in Tullahoma and inquired if we would agree to be one such drop off point. We immediately agreed. The ensuing conversation turned very sad as Nicky related the story of her dear friend going home and her inability to get around as she once did. She told me that she feared this would be the last year she could do the card ministry…..as she looked into my eyes, a light obviously came on….and she added, “unless someone like you were to take it over!” A huge smile came over her face, and somehow, I had a peace in my heart about the idea.
Immediately on that day, we agreed to take over the Christmas Card ministry. Aided by Nicky’s expertise and knowledge of the intricacies of contacting nursing homes and so forth, we distributed almost 8,000 cards that year, a drop of several thousand cards because she wasn’t able to do the level of preparation as in the past.
When time came to prepare for the Christmas Card Ministry in 2014 came around, Marie called Nicky’s home and was informed by her husband that she had suffered a massive stroke and could no longer talk or walk. The vast majority of the contact information and other vital things needed to do the card ministry was in her head, and we now would never know how she had done things. So, we did the next best thing. We got on the phone and called nursing homes and facilities in the area with no guidance, no leads as to a contact person and no list of facilities she’d served in the past. In spite of the confusion, we were incredibly busy that season, distributing almost 10,000 cards. We were elated!
Now, it is time for the Christmas Card ministry for 2016! And, we’re ready! At this point, the numbers of facilities is still growing! We are headed for 12,000 cards or more with no end in sight yet! It is completely amazing! This Christmas Season, we remember Nicky Warren and her vision to bring some Christmas Cheer to some lonely people who are in nursing homes during this season of Joy and God’s Love. Thank you, Nicky for your vision and for 18 faithful years Sharing the Joy of Christmas! It is an honor to follow in your footsteps.
I’m sure there are many reading this blog who are unfamiliar with what our Christmas Card ministry does. We provide one personally signed Christmas card each of the “12 Days of Christmas” (ending on Christmas Day) to each resident at approved facilities. Joy Christian Radio oversees this ministry and it is carried out by our staff and a handful of faithful volunteers. Many people give cards or cash donations to help us make this huge undertaking a reality. Plus, we will start after Christmas with all the “after Christmas clearances” putting back cards for next year. It’s the best time to buy cards!
It is our desire at Joy Christian Radio to sponsor other such card ministries in other cities! But, in order to do that, we need your help! We can assist with getting cards, but we need someone in each area we are doing this to contact facilities, get people to sign cards and to take the bundles of processed cards to these facilities in time to have the personnel distribute them for Christmas!
Interested? If you would like to help us start a Christmas Card Ministry in your area, please call our office and talk to Marie or Melissa! The office number is 931.222.1633.
Merry Christmas! May the Joys of Christmas be yours!
In Our Master’s Joyful Service,
Joy Christian Radio