MHP donation photo

Ace Woodson (back row, second from left) and children from Shelbyville Christian Fellowship present 500 gift bags to MHP Medical Center on Wednesday. The church is increasing its outreach efforts around the community and made its first delivery to the hospital.

Six children from Shelbyville Christian Fellowship Church made a generous donation to MHP Medical Center on Wednesday.

The youth ministry group, led by Ace Woodson, donated 500 gift bags for children who are either in or visiting the hospital.

The bags, which were filled with a coloring book, a box of crayons and Play-Doh, are meant to help them occupy their time, Woodson said.

“It gives the kiddo something to do so they’re not wearing Mom and Dad out running around,” he said.

Woodson has been doing youth ministry for 30 years and was trying to come up with a practical way to reach out the the community. A friend of his who lives in Kentucky told him that when his daughter was in the emergency room, she was given a similar gift bag and expressed how meaningful it was to her.

That sparked Woodson into action.

The youth group decided to do the same thing for MHP. They formed an assembly line to put each gift in the bag.

“It was really kind of cool seeing everybody working,” he said. “I thought that was pretty cool seeing kids this age serving and doing something for the community.”

The group made the delivery to Linda Bacon of MHP Medical Center and nurses from the Ambulatory Care Center.

Bacon said the hospital has children who come in to have their tonsils removed and the gift bags will be given to them while they recover.

She went onto encourage the children from the church to volunteer at the hospital once they turn 14.

Woodson said he plans to bring another delivery of gift bags once the hospital gives away the first round.

He was proud of the youth group’s desire to help out the community.

“I think that’s what we’re commanded to do is reach out to our communities,” he said. “Jesus didn’t say sit and wait for people to come to you, he said go.”

He said some of them have also participated in volunteering their time at the Salvation Army.

“We’re serving God when we do things like this,” he said.

Shelbyville Christian Fellowship is looking to do more around the community in the future. Previously, the men in the church served a meal at Rupert’s Place as part of its outreach efforts.