When Alisa Howerton and Dale Moles met for the first time, it was at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Bean Station, two weeks after entering into an agreement to work together to provide children in flood-devastated areas of Texas with toys for Christmas.
Alisa’s husband, Pastor Scott Howerton, introduced the two, and began telling how he and Alisa had ended up in Texas during fall break. He said Alisa had told him she had it on her heart to go to Texas to help people there who had lost everything during the flooding of Hurricane Harvey. He had asked her, “Why Texas?” She told him she didn’t know, but it was Texas that was on her heart.
Moles also told how he had thought of other places to go offer his assistance, but for some reason, the Port Arthur, Texas area is where he ended up while Hurricane Harvey raged.
The unrelated decisions of two residents of the Bean Station area resulted in their traveling almost a thousand miles to two locations about 23 miles apart, to help others. The result of their initial travels culminated in a massive drive to acquire toys to take to children in those very areas in time for Christmas.
That Moles and Howerton, who didn’t know each other, felt compelled to go so far away, to locations so near each other, and that they both hail from the Bean Station area isn’t surprising.
The generosity of those who went out of their way to give toys, or monetary donations toward the purchase of toys for the Toys for Texas drive, paints an accurate picture of those who reside in this area of East Tennessee.
Those who gave have provided Christmas miracles for both children and their parents, who might have had no gifts to give come Christmas morning. The donations for children whose lives have been turned upside down are more than just toys, they are gifts of hope and love. They are examples of God’s greatness, and the result of His use of two individuals who had no idea they were being guided to eventually work together to provide His blessings for children in need, in honor of His Son’s birth.