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Dream Center, 1st Franklin reaching out to community

By Staff
Melissa Cason
Franklin County Times
The Russellville Dream Center is pairing up with 1st Franklin Financial to host a Christmas outreach for the community tomorrow, beginning at 4 p.m.
1st Franklin Financial District Manger Henrietta Reathford said they wanted to help the Dream Center touch those in need in lieu of having an office Christmas party this year.
"One of our other district managers thought it would be a good idea to give back to our communities since Christmas is the season of giving," Reathford said.
The idea of hosting a Christmas dinner for the community spread like wildfire and excitement spread throughout Reathford's district.
"I have eight offices in my district," she said. "Each employee is coming and bringing enough food to feed at least 15 people."
Reathford's staff is looking forward to tomorrow's event, and other employees from other districts are planning to join in.
"Giving to those less fortunate should be infectious, and everyone should want to help others in need," Reathford said.
Reathford's son, Shawn, is the director for the Russellville Dream Center. She says that it is because of Shawn's past problems with drugs that she can reach out to those in need.
"A while back I wondered why God only allowed me to have one son, and he was a drug addict," Reathford said. "I got the answer to that question when a man approached my home asking to use the phone. I could tell he was strung out, but I let him use the phone anyway."
She said the man called his father and asked if he could come home, but his father refused.
Reathford said at that moment she understood why her son was an addict: So that she would know how to love unconditionally without any strings or expectations.
Now that Shawn has beaten his drug addiction, Reathford said she wants to see the Dream Center succeed and that she wants give back to those less fortunate.
Reathford expects at least 150 people to attend the event tomorrow, and invites everyone in the community to share the blessings.
Reathford hopes to be able to give out toys or other small items at the event. Anyone wishing to donate clothing or used toys can do so by bringing them by the Dream Center.
"A used toy is just like a new toy to children who wouldn't get anything else for Christmas," Reathford said.
She feels like the community Christmas party will be an annual event because of the blessings that will be received by her staff and the community who attend.
"This is what Christmas is all about," Reathford said. "I know that everyone who attends will receive a blessing in some way by God."
The event will be held at the Faith Mission Outreach building.

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