Local Waterloo church brings children more than a Christmas gift - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local Waterloo church brings children more than a Christmas gift

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The holiday spirit shined bright in Waterloo's Hope City Church, as nearly 90 children received two very special Christmas gifts Wednesday night.

The gifts were about more than ponies or baby dolls. It was the messages that came with gifts that were important.  The 'I love yous' from parents who won't be home for Christmas because they are incarcerated. 

For Ashley Schnider, a single mother of three, it means the world.

"They were definitely excited. Telling them that their dad still cares about them, even though he isn't here and having something to give them from their dad was a blessing," said Schnider.

The gifts became a blessing and a helping hand after Hope City Church's Pastor Q and the Angel Tree organizers heard this story.

"The mother said, 'Well, as much as I would like for my child to have something fun, they actually need socks.' That broke Rachel's heart. She thought, 'What if there is a way we could not only give a gift that met their need, but also brought some joy and some fun?'" said Pastor Q, Quovadis Marshall.

Together, Hope City Church rose to the occasion to give nearly 200 gifts to 87 children this Christmas.

For Pastor Q, the story comes full circle.

"19-years-old, young guy who made some bad decisions. For seven years, there was a local church in our community that every year gave a gift to my now 22-year-old daughter and said, 'Hey, your dad loves you, cares about you, and so do we,'" said Pastor Q.

 It was a small gift with a lasting impact.

"She still talks about the gift she got one year, which was a DVD of one of her favorite movies. Just even coming home and being able to watch that movie with her, talk to her about those moments; those aren't things you forget. It is a gift that wears out with time, but the heart behind the gift doesn't wear out. It is timeless," said Pastor Q.

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