Sisters Corie Shifflett and Marsha Hinkle recently came up with an idea to honor their father, Frank Tusing.
Frank was the pastor of both Damascus and Crab Run Churched of the Brethren. He recently passed away on 9-2-21 at age 70. According to Marsha and Corie, “Our dad was born and raised in the Broadway area, living the majority of his life on Runions Creek Rd. His joys in life were sharing the word of God, his family, hunting, and fishing. He was very compassionate, and very generous with his time and money. He spent many hours in the hospitals and nursing homes visiting people from the community. He enjoyed having fun at the events of the churches, and he could be found dressed up in many different costumes- such as Colonel Sanders, a cupcake, a ranch dressing bottle, etc. He spent a lot of time with his family, going on trips to the beach and Pigeon Forge, and at family celebrations. He loved the holiday season- he enjoyed the get togethers, food, and family traditions.”
To honor their dad, Corie and Marsha came up with the idea of Frank’s Christmas Angels. They have a Facebook page, and their brother Christopher, mom Sharon, and other members of their family, are helping run the organization. As Marsha says, “We just started this once Dad passed in September, so we are still ironing out all the details and who is responsible for what within the organization. We are a very tight knit family, so we all came together to make it happen!”
They keep their organization local, since Frank lived in Broadway, and his churches covered Criders and Mathias.
“Frank would ask for names of families in need of help. He would then contact these families to get a sense of needs they had. Then he would ask for donations from the church members and local community members to sponsor these kids. He would set up a day for people to get together at the store to help purchase these items. Frank would coordinate the lists with the shopping volunteers, and when everyone was done shopping, they would meet at the check out register. Once the gifts were ready, he would contact the families to deliver the gifts. In 2020, we helped 17 children at Christmas time.”
People can nominate families in need. You can either adopt a family/person and buy specifically for them, or donate money which will be used to shop for the gifts. The organization usually has about 8 people doing the shopping.
When asked who delivers the gifts, Marsha and Corie said “The gifts are delivered to the parents/guardians of the kids. Since the family is in need of help, those gifts are used as the Christmas gifts from the parents/guardians to the children. The only items that are given as a gift from this organization would be the Bible and food. There are plans this year for Santa to help deliver some of the gifts to the families. Santa may even have a special helper with him!”
Marsha continues “Historically, our dad did this at Christmas time, which we will continue, but we are hoping we can expand this organization to be blessings to those in need, no matter the time of the year. More to come, as we get more time to plan.”
To learn more about the Frank’s Christmas Angels ministry, check out their Facebook page, or contact them (text or call) at 540-607-7181 or 540-578-0741.