Walk By Faith Ministries held its annual coat and toy giveaway last Saturday, Nov. 22. The line of people waiting to enter 5453 W. North extended outside as the founder and president, Pastor Rosetta Dotson, organized everyone into orderly groups.

This is Pastor Dotson’s fifth year providing coats and gifts for the children of the Austin community.

“I heard the voice of God calling me to help the children,” she said. “I was babysitting my grandchild that day and the calling was so strong I knew I had to try and make a difference in our children’s lives. Some children are now in college, some have gotten master’s degrees and these achievements keep me going. I am so thankful to my contributors Don and Kathy Lockett of Phoenix Accounting Service and my banking official, Demita Louie, at Harris Bank on West North Avenue.

“Don and Kathy Lockett are not only my landlord at 5453 W. North, they are good friends who believe in me. Oftentimes when I’m not sure which way to turn and hope people will help, the Locketts and Demita Louie are always there for me.

“I can also depend on help from Rev. Lewis Flowers, president of the Westside Ministers Coalition. Another contributor was Toys-For-Tots, a Marine military center located at 3600 W. Foster. They called me earlier this month, and I went to the location to pick up the toys. The toys were just wonderful, things like roller skates, dolls, cars, trucks and book bags.

“With the economy being so tight this year, I am especially thankful for the help from contributors, ministers and volunteers like Mrs. R. Blandace and Mrs. S. Williams.”

Pastor Dotson said that since the election of President-elect Obama, she has noticed a change in many of the young people she ministers to. “I registered over 400 young people this year to vote, and so many said they weren’t going to do anything to embarrass Obama. The one thing we need badly are jobs. If young people are put to work, it will certainly help with our crime situation, and it will offer hope to those who have been hopeless.”

Pastor Dotson is a member of Gospel Temple Church, 3859 W. Harrison, where Sidney Grandberry is the senior pastor and Robert R. Sanders is bishop. Although Christmas is a month away, the need for coats, toys and donations are still needed.

All of the gifts and coats were given away at this occasion, and Pastor Dotson said she has over 100 families she wants to help in the next few weeks. To donate and help, contact Pastor Dotson at 773-310-6269 or go to Walk By Faith Ministries, 5453 W. North.