Jackie Starr has fifteen children and fifty-five grandchildren, with four on the way. This Christmas was a Merry Christmas for her large and growing family partially becomes of the help her family received at the Best Buy Christmas Give-A-Away.
The Starr family was just one of the hundreds that lined up on Christmas morning for help with Christmas joy provided by people in the local community through the annual Christmas Give-A-Way.
Starr, 64, says she enjoys a large family and struggles each year to insure that they have a touch of joy. She said this year is her first year coming to the Best Buy-Christmas Giveaway, but the help was greatly appreciated.
Her husband the late Prentiss Starr is deceased and she handles her large family alone, but she is not lonely. She has plenty of grandchildren.
Her daughter Lashanda Kyles and her husband Laydrian Kyles have ten children with one on the way. Mrs. Kyles said she told her husband eleven is enough; she won’t keep up with mother.
Mrs. Starr said when her husband was living he took care of all of the children at Christmas, plus helping others. He was a hard worker who provided for his large and growing family faithfully, she said.
“He would do things to help other people even though he had a big family of his own,” said Mrs. Starr, who said after her husband’s death many people rallied to help her large family.
She is a member of the Christ Harvest Pentecostal Church. She says church members and friends help her as well, although the family does not openly seek help or handouts. It appears others know of their plight and pitch to help.
“It wasn’t nothing but God,” said Mrs. Starr said as she praised God for touching the hearts of others and for making the Best Buy Give-A-Way possible.
Mrs. Staff said she was able to get a few gifts for some of her children, but did not try to be greedy because so many others were in line.
“I just thank the Lord. Some of them got a few gifts. I just thank the Lord for that,” she said.
The Best Buy Christmas Give-A-Way solicits support from church elected officials and various businesses to insure that families like the Starr family had a touch of happiness on Christmas morning.
Cordell Blockson started the effort nearly two decades ago to help the families of the Booker T. Community along with the late Ester Gallow. It expanded over the years and now provides help for hundreds of families each year.
In addition to gifts, the Give-A-Way also provided Christmas meals for many, and some meals were delivered to the elderly.
Blockson was honored in February of this year, along with a post humorous award to Gallow by members of the New Tabernacle Baptist Church. The need and the humble spirit shown by Blockson in meeting the need was praised. The church presented a $1,500 check toward the $9,000 cost of the 2018 give-a-way. Other churches and civic groups provided volunteers and assistance on Christmas morning.
Blockson himself stayed away from cameras; he said his name wasn’t important.
Families like the Starrs and the Kyles are grateful for the Give-A-Way and thank God for touching the hearts of those who gave.