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'Every Life Matters' Hands Out Christmas Gifts

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LAWTON Okla_ A local pastor spread some Christmas joy Monday in a local neighborhood that has seen its share of violence.

Michael Cross created the "Every Life Matters" organization at the Sanders Heights Apartments in Lawton back in January. The program is used to teach the children necessary life skills, but the pastor played Santa Monday, as he delivered Christmas presents to the neighborhood.

Every other Saturday, the program attracts children of all ages and teaches them life skills like honesty, duty, integrity, and obedience. Monday was less serious but just as fun, as those children received some Christmas presents.

Usually, the gifts Pastor Cross gives to the children are lessons on how to be a good person. Monday, he gave gifts that the children ages 2-17 can open up on Christmas Day. Local businesses and members of the community stepped up to help with donations. Pastor Cross said that he is very thankful to see the help the community has given to the organization.

"It gives me a sense of hope and that everyone is working toward a common goal to make Lawton a better place to live," Cross said. "Citizens chip in. It's just great. It just filled me with hope."

The work that he has done has really improved the lives of not only the children but also the parents of Sanders Heights.

"It is a blessing," Sanders Heights Resident Maky Rosario said. "We are thankful for the pastor for everything he has done for the community, for these apartments, for the children. I am sure they appreciate it."

Pastor Cross and his Every Life Matters program gave presents to 41 children. He hopes that with his program, he can change their lives.

"It makes me feel excited, even with these children, that there is hope for them," Cross said. "Maybe I can impact them, influence their lives, and what we do here at Sanders Heights will bring about change."

The organization meets every other Saturday, but after the construction gets done at Sanders Heights, they will meet every Saturday at the clubhouse. Pastor Cross said donations are welcome, and you can contact him at 580-647-6370.

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