BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Food was collected Monday night at Interdenominational Faith Assembly in Baton Rouge as part of the 8th Annual Gift of Christmas.
"It's an honor and pleasure to give and be generous," said Assistant Pastor Shannon Johnson.
The message of caring for others was a focal point of the evening as families and children prepared to receive wrapped gifts. That message was championed by Trevor Sims, who passed away in October of cancer. Despite his illness, Sims made it his mission to help those hungry in the area.
"He leaves a legacy that transcends his time and place in history and that will guide and inspire generations to come," said another speaker of Sims.
Trevor's mother Allison was presented with a commendation from the State House of Representatives for his life's work. Allison still coping with Trevor's passing but understanding his dream lives on.
"That's the way he lived his life and who he was and he was selfless and thinking of others so it's always like a reminder of him to see other people help each other," said Allison.
Help that on this day included plenty of smiles, as children opened gifts ranging from Transformers to earrings. The spirit of Christmas was not lost on many in attendance.
"I think Christmas is giving and receiving and more giving," said one young girl.
That is a mindset State Representative Regina Barrow says is rewarding to see despite many of the families being forced to make difficult spending decisions during the holidays.
"I've actually had those phone calls where people have said to me, I'm so glad that you're doing this because I could not afford to buy one gift for my child so at least I know they have something under the Christmas tree," said Barrow.