Milligan concert brings toys to kids


Photo by Kristen Luther
A Milligan College student takes a toy donated to help underprivileged children through the Haven of Mercy in Johnson City. The donations served as entrance fees to a Christmas concert held Sunday evening at Seeger Chapel.

  MILLIGAN COLLEGE -- The community was invited to donate toys for Sunday's "A Milligan College Christmas" concert to help area underprivileged children.
  The concert was held at 8 p.m. in Seeger Memorial Chapel to benefit the Haven of Mercy, a Christian homeless shelter and daily meal program in Johnson City whose toy program is in dire need this Christmas.
  "Unless we receive several more toy donations, we will not be able to continue our toy program this year," said Bill Ingram, executive director of Haven of Mercy. "We rely solely on donations of others to keep our doors open. Many disadvantaged people in the area are not able to afford presents and do not have the basic staples for daily living that many people take for granted. We appreciate Milligan College for thinking of us and reaching out to the community through this Christmas concert."
  The Haven of Mercy handed out nearly 500 toys last year, and the ministry's meal program serves an average of 250 meals daily.
  "These children face so many obstacles each day. It is a tremendous blessing to see joy rather than worry on these kids' faces at Christmas," said Ingram.
  The Milligan Christmas concert was free, but a donation of new toys, canned goods or toiletry items was collected at the door.
  The concert featured several carols performed by the Milligan Brass Choir, Orchestra, Concert Choir, Milligan Singers, and the East Tennessee Children's Choir, which is under the direction of Beth McCoy.
  Dr. Kellie Brown, chair of the music area, said, "This beautiful production captures the spirit of Christmas for the whole family through the opportunity to help those in need during the season and the joy of the Christmas music."
  After the concert the musical ensembles invited the audience to sing favorite traditional hymns, followed by a special candle lighting ceremony.