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Love Sparky’s Kids huge this year

By Tami Stevenson

Christmas morning will be bright and full of cheer for Suwannee County children and families that were in need this year thanks to the Live Oak Fire Department, Homeless Advocate for Suwannee County Schools, Love In The Name of Christ (Love Sparky’s Kid’s), and local businesses and individuals in the community. Close to 900 children from Suwannee County were given Christmas gifts this year, the biggest year ever for Love Sparky’s Kids.

“We’ve been beyond blessed,” said Lisa Kriehn, Director of Love INC. “The Price Gregory International Pipeline Company (Sabal Trail) stepped up, along with the community and even outside people stepped up (this year) and really blessed these children,” said Kriehn.

Stopping just long enough for a quick photo while helping give out huge bags of toys and presents for Love Sparky’s Kids. Front row: L-R: Jace Tyner, Scott Anderson, Robin Hawkins, LOFD Safety Officer Mike Blackmon and Director of Love INC Lisa Kriehn. Back row: Tim Owen and Pat Hogan. -SVT Photo by Gabrielle Stevenson

Mike Blackmon, Safety Officer of the Live Oak Fire Department, said Sparky’s Kids is in its fourth year teaming up with Love INC to make Love Sparky’s Kids possible.

He said, “Lisa and her staff just make things go a lot smoother since they’ve joined us.” He said the Love INC folks bag up all the toys and organize everything. Blackmon said the amount of donations from the community was incredible this year.

Kriehn was very appreciative in that Price Gregory not only adopted 80 children, they went out and shopped for them and brought everything back all bagged and ready to go.

Toys, toys, toys! Huge bags filled with gifts for those less fortunate in Suwannee County at the Live Oak Fire Department for their annual Love Sparky’s Kids event. -SVT Photo by Gabrielle Stevenson

Robin Hawkins, foreman for Price Gregory, said, “You can see the heartfelt joy with Lisa and her team and we are happy to help them.”

Scott Anderson, Firefighter EMT with the LOFD was there volunteering his time and said, it’s very touching. “The kids can’t help their situation. Just knowing you’re making kids happy is just an amazing feeling, it really is.”

Kriehn said she has been asked many times if the toys they buy for a child they adopt stay with that child. She wanted the readers to know if anyone buys for a specific child they adopted, that child gets the gifts the person bought them. She said they, “...Never, ever, ever take anything out of that bag,” it all goes to the child it was meant for.

Love Sparky’s Kids gave gifts to around 900 children this year. -SVT Photo by Gabrielle Stevenson

Lots of smiles during the Love Sparky’s Kids event Saturday -SVT Photo by Gabrielle Stevenson

Blackmon and Kriehn wanted to thank the many businesses and individuals in the community that adopted children and families this year, along with the many volunteers that helped make it all possible.

“God really did it all,” said Kriehn. “We have received more tears of gratitude this year than I think we have ever received.”

For anyone interested in adopting a child or family next year, Love INC begins taking names at the end of September and they adopt families and children until Black Friday.