Christian Business Leaders coordinate family helping project for the holidays


By Dana Delgado

Nothing transcends the essence of the holidays than the spirit of sharing and giving.

That’s what motivated “CHRISTmas Blessings, Love Abounds” (Christian Business Leaders Association) board members to organize and coordinate a project that assists persons in need within the community, said CBLA President Eric Van Natter.

“It was determined through much discussion that Christmas means many different things to many different people,” said Van Natter.  “We as the board were looking for a way to touch a few directly.  While it is very noble to hand out a turkey at Christmas time, we felt as though we could have a direct impact on the lives of a few families in need.”

Board members have coordinated with 10 local churches to identify one family per church that is in need of assistance. Once identified, families will be invited to a gathering at a host local church where there are a variety of activities are planned.

“We will be cooking and setting up a few games for the kids and simply nurturing the families with the presence of God,” said Van Natter.

“While the events are taking place, volunteers from the CBLA will take one parent shopping while ministering to the parent.”

Each parent is provided a budget based on the funds donated by the business community. Purchases are left to the discretion of the parent based on the specific needs of their family. Van Natter said that purchases could include food, clothing or Christmas gifts for the kids or a combination of things.

“Bottom line,” said Van Natter, “is they are able to purchase what their family needs rather than us making purchases for them.”

Upon completion of the shopping trip, parents return with their escorts to the family outing. For the privacy of the families, the upcoming date and location for the family gathering are not being released by CBLA members.

“We wanted to start small allowing us to tune in on how the program goes over, what worked, what didn’t work, and how we can improve for next year,” Van Natter said. “We will be assisting 10 families this year. We are hopeful to grow the program year after year.”

Van Natter said that the organization understands that some churches and other organizations are already helping families but emphasized that “there can never be enough help.”

Tax deductible donations are still being collected. To make a donation or to learn more about the CBLA Project, individuals may call Van Natter at (512) 525-0269. Donations can be mailed or dropped off at CBLA, c/o Star of Texas Realty Group, 1002 Loop 332 (red brick building with big black door across from the VFW flagpole downtown), Liberty Hill, TX 78642. Checks should be made payable to Life Springs Christian Church with “CBLA Project” in the memo line.