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Ministry bears gifts for needy kids

December 23, 2000

Ministry bears gifts for needy kids



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer


It wasn't a sleigh but a red bread truck that brought Christmas joy to children Saturday at Frederick Manor in Hagerstown.

The Hagerstown-based City Quake Ministries outreach truck and two others were filled with toys for kids at the low-income housing complex off Frederick Street.

City Quake founders Bill and Teresa Wiles parked their outreach truck on Adams Avenue at 3 p.m. to begin dispensing presents to the more than 30 smiling children waiting on a blue tarp nearby.

About 70 kids were expected to turn out for the event, Frederick Manor resident Maria O'Brien said.

"We want everyone to have a great Christmas and know God loves them," said Teresa Wiles, 29, as the excited children divided into lines of boys and girls to choose their gifts from the vehicles packed separately with toys for each gender.

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The Toys for Tots program and Washington County citizens donated the hundreds of new toys, which ranged from Barbie dolls to Zoom Copters, said Bill Wiles, 30.

"We've got footballs. We've got cars. We've got baby dolls. We've got this cool frog," he told the waiting children. "We've got a whole lot of stuff to make you happy. But there's one gift that's even better than all this stuff. What is it?"

"Jesus!" the kids yelled.

"The girls were louder than the boys," Wiles said. "What was God's greatest gift to us?"

"Jesus!" the kids yelled even louder.

As Christian music played over loudspeakers, each child was invited to choose either three small toys or one large toy and one small toy.

Danielle Gaines was among about 10 little girls who said they asked Santa for scooters. But Danielle, 8, said she would be happy with whatever she chose from the City Quake truck.

"I think it's good because we get to share presents with people," she said. "Sharing is a good thing. I like it when people share."

"Look what I got!" a joyful 5-year-old Arron Thompson said, holding up his new firetruck.

Robert Howes, 11, said his little sister, Megan, 4, has been asking "every Santa she sees" for a Furby, but the tot said she was happy with the new baby dolls she picked from the truck.

The smiles on the faces of children such as Megan made worthwhile the effort that Bill and Teresa Wiles hope becomes "our best annual tradition," they said.

With the help of four other young people, the couple this fall founded City Quake Ministries in the former One Stop Pizza building on Salem Avenue.

They refurbished the old bread truck for missions such as Saturday's gift-giving and the sidewalk Sunday school classes they plan to offer Hagerstown kids when the weather warms up.

The Wileses have been running a successful children's outreach ministry in Frederick, Md., for five years.

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