Children whose parents are inmates at Rutherford County Adult Detention Center were remembered with bags of presents and a Christmas dinner Friday by New Vision Baptist Church members.
Operation Bless a Child brought smiles to about 150 children who eagerly grabbed wrapped about 1,600 presents handed out by volunteers, Pastor John Spurgeon and Sheriff Robert Arnold.
Tish Cannon and Leslee Nellius coordinated the event as part of the church's prison ministry.
"We love our community and want to be part of our community," Cannon said. "We reached out to the families" in providing presents for individual children.
Fifty volunteers shopped for the children and 83 wrappers used 11,400 square feet of wrapping paper. The gifts were given "because Jesus loves you and New Vision loves you," the children were told.
Volunteers presented a skit with the children about Jesus' birth and sang Christmas carols.
Sheriff Arnold said the event was amazing and thanked the volunteers.
"Christmas is all about Jesus and God giving his only son," Sheriff Arnold said.