Christmas Ministries

Opportunities to Give

Below are a few different Christmas ministries that Wakonda is a part of. If you'd like to donate to any of these ministries, please use the online giving feature and select the ministry in the form.

Angel Tree / Jefferson Elementary

Angel Tree is a ministry that Wakonda has supported for several years. It provides Christmas gifts to children who have a parent that is incarcerated and unable to purchase gifts for their children themselves. The incarcerated parent signs up with the Angel Tree Program through Prison The names of those children are assigned to various organizations like Wakonda Christian Church. We have 21 children we are supporting this year that are part of 8 different families.

We are also planning to support several families of children at Jefferson Elementary schools, who are in need of our help this year to make their Christmas season a great one for each of them.

In lieu of asking you to shop for actual presents, we would appreciate your monetary donations for both of these ministries by Sunday, Dec 19th so that we can provide those funds to the families involved to be able to enjoy a great Christmas. Please contact Elaine Conkel or Steve Mohr if you have any questions.

Alternative Christmas Gift Market Options

Why get Uncle Bob yet another sweater he really doesn't need? Instead, honor those who have enough by giving to those who have too little by going to the Alternative Christmas Gift Market between now and December 17, 2020. Find the right gift for each person on your list as you "shop" 8 local non-profit organizations.

Rather than buying a traditional gift for a loved one, you can honor their friends and family by donating online.

Once again, we are promoting the following organizations:

  • Bidwell Riverside Center – Since 1893, this center has been building hope for families living in poverty. The Child Development Center provides high quality care and preschool for children. The Family Services department includes the distribution center where basic needs such as food and clothing are provided as well as more intense work with families to help them overcome barriers to self-sufficiency.
  • Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) – Religious communities working together to meet basic human needs for the greater Des Moines community. Help supply 12 partner food pantry sites through its affiliate program, MovetheFood.
  • Hope Ministries – Purpose is to proclaim and demonstrate the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ, meeting the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of men, women, and children who are homeless or in need of hope.
  • Meals from the Heartland – Organization composed of volunteers who package meals for delivery to starving people around the world as well as right here in Central Iowa and elsewhere in the United States.
  • Habitat for Humanity – Non-profit ecumenical Christian ministry founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live.
  • Central Iowa Shelter & Services – Support shelter meals that Wakonda Christian Church provides throughout the year.
  • Youth Emergency Services & Shelter (YESS) – Largest youth shelter and only crisis nursery of its kind in the state of Iowa. Provides emergency shelter, crisis intervention, and counseling services in an effort to heal families and change lives.
  • Bernie Lorenz Recovery – Program established to support chemically dependent women living in recovery.

We'll send you a note card, envelope and insert with the name and information about the organization that the money is being donated to on your behalf. You can give this to that special person on your gift giving list.

Bidwell Riverside Holiday Toy Pantry

The holidays will continue at the Bidwell Riverside Center. Last year, 1500 children were served through the Holiday Toy Pantry. It is anticipated that the needs will be greater this year. They are accepting toy donations through December 19, 2020.

Age toys needed:

  • New toys for ages 0-12
  • Gift cards for ages 13-17

Most needed items:

  • Toys
  • Stocking Stuffers
  • Books
  • Hats & Gloves
  • Stuffed Animals
  • $10 & $20 Gift Cards to Walmart & Target (all denominations needed)
  • All Gift Cards (all denominations needed)

There are several options for giving that include the following:

  • Drop off toys at the church to be delivered to the agency
  • Drop off toys yourself
    • No-contact Drop off Bin: Starting Monday, November 30th, there will be a no-contact drop off bin to top off toys behind the yellow building by the yellow building of the administrative office. The bin will be outside and you can just put new toys in the bin and staff will come out and bring them in.
    • No-contact Drop off – staying in your car option: If you call a day ahead, they can coordinate a no-drop off time. You will pull up in your car and just drop the trunk and we will grab the items for you, and you don’t even need to get out of your car.
  • Bidwell has also created an Amazon Toy Pantry List on their website as they acknowledge that some people may not be comfortable spending time in the store shopping and then dropping the toys off at Bidwell. When items are purchased from this list online, they ship directly to Bidwell, which makes it easier than ever to support the Bidwell Riverside Holiday Toy Pantry.

Click on the links below for more information about the toy drive and shopping lists:

Holiday Toy Drive webpage:

Amazon Shopping Lists: