shopping for free?
Wanda English Burnett, Editor
It was a childs Christmas shopping paradise. Imagine getting
to shop for quality gifts for everyone in your family and having
them beautifully gift wrapped - all for free.
All this was made possible not only for children, but for families
as well through the generosity of people at the Cornerstone Baptist
Church at Milan and others, this Christmas season.
Its not me, give God the glory! insisted Pastor
Rick Mosleys wife, Judy, who spearheaded the program. She
said she had a vision earlier in the year and knew there was a
need for this type of ministry in the area they serve.
Overwhelmed with the response, Judy said she knew she had followed
what God had laid on her heart. The first shopping day was Saturday,
December 1. This was for children only. They brought their
little lists and did their own shopping, Judy said with
a smile. She said they picked out items for whoever they wanted,
and then sat patiently waiting for their gifts to be wrapped.
Some dads may receive sunglasses with rhinestones, but those gifts
were picked from the heart! Over 300 gifts went out the door that
day, home with children with smiles on their faces reflecting
their happiness. Ive never been so touched and so
blessed, Judy said softly. The children waited so
patiently to have their gifts wrapped. It was so touching,
Then on Tuesday, December 4 the free store was open to the adults
of the community to shop. Again, everything was free and there
were no restrictions such as income limit. It was for everyone.
We probably had 50 or more adults that shopped that day,
noted Mary Wainscott, who said she was happy to help with the
project. She agreed with Judy by saying their goal was to help
the community in any way they could. Saturday, December 8 was
the last shopping day with the anticipation of many shoppers once
The gifts were new quality items, ranging from a variety of toys,
clothing of all sorts, tapes, books, Christmas decorations, CDs,
dishes, household items, candles, sunglasses, hair bows of all
sorts, hygiene items, about $30,000 worth of merchandise in all,
according to Rev. Mosley.
One of the volunteers, Mrs. Gladys Burton, noted that she had
some phone calls saying people were in need of gently used clothing,
including coats, shoes and winter items. Along with others in
the congregation, they responded to that need by setting up another
room in the church with a variety of good used clothing people
could look through, again at no cost.
The Mosleys were thankful for the support of their congregation,
which is small in number, but mighty in spirit, according
to them. Everyone pitched right in, we couldnt have
done it without them, Judy noted. From people like Ron Myers,
who helped with loaning a trailer to haul the merchandise, to
the Wainscotts, who used their personal vehicle, to those who
sorted, organized, and wrapped gifts, the small congregation of
about 30 performed a small miracle in the town of Milan in the
last two weeks.
The Mosleys said they have connections with a much larger church
in Illinois where they do this sort of program. They were able
to obtain the merchandise mostly through that church, they just
had to go get it. We can see things people need that we
didnt have this year, such as baby clothes and items,
noted Judy. She said they will focus on some of those things for
next year. Yes, next year the organizers are planning another
free store event, hoping to reach even more people. We really
didnt advertise on a large scale this year because we didnt
know how people would respond, Judy stated. Next year they
plan to have even more merchandise available and let more people
know about the great opportunity.
The little independent church is very mission oriented. Pastor
Mosley said, When God gave the greatest gift of all, this
is the least we could do. Their goal is to reach souls
No one seemed to mind that they were giving up precious time during
the holiday season. Matter of fact, last Saturday, you could find
several of the church goers at the free store helping people for
the last day it was open.
Pastor Mosley admitted he was a busy man, a preacher, public school
teacher, and an arbitrator for the lemon law in several states.
But, he wouldnt miss being at the free store on Saturday,
and along with wife, Judy, thanked everyone who had any part in
giving to others this season. You see how mighty something
can be when God is in it, concluded Judy.
The Mosleys invite others to get involved with this ministry and
may do so by calling the church at 654-9824. They have pastored
at the church located at Franklin and Morrel streets in Milan
for the past seven years.
WANDA ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO
Volunteers were in place Saturday morning at the free
store at the Cornerstone Baptist Church at Milan. Pictured
from left: Mary Wainscott, Judy Mosley, Gladys and Melvin
Burton, were just some of the volunteers who helped with
the program. They had about $30,000 worth of items that
were available to the public.