The Manger Program

Presented by St. Gianna Circle Mothers Ministry and GraceWorks Ministries

This year, Saint Matthew is excited to once again participate in The Manger Program, hosted by GraceWorks Ministries in Franklin. All parishioners are invited to take part in this annual giving effort, benefitting local families in need this holiday season.

The Manger is a Christmas shopping experience designed to help low-income families in Williamson County provide Christmas gifts for their children. These families will have the opportunity to “shop” for gifts in a store-like environment, which will be set up at the Franklin First United Methodist Church. The store will consist of toys, sporting equipment, and gifts children would love to open on Christmas morning all donated by community members and partners. Last Christmas, GraceWorks served over 1,700 families through The Manger program.

From November 18 – December 3, Saint Matthew will be collecting NEW and UNWRAPPED toys and sporting equipment for children ages 0-18. Participants can choose their own gifts or select gifts from The Manger’s Amazon Wishlist. All donations can be dropped off in the bins in the church narthex or the school lobby during the collection dates.

In addition to the gift collection, GraceWorks is collecting monetary donations to sponsor children in The Manger program. To learn more and to make a monetary donation, click this link to visit their secure giving platform.

We would like to thank our St. Gianna Circle Mothers Ministry for championing these efforts at Saint Matthew. If you have any questions about The Manger, please contact Elizabeth Abaray ( or Kelly Jensen (

Shopping Suggestions

Need some help deciding what to buy? Take a look at the shopping suggestions below! Please remember that all gifts must be NEW and UNWRAPPED when dropped off.

  • Board games
  • Books
  • Stuffed animals
  • Stocking stuffers


  • Teethers, blankets, lovies, play mats, unbreakable mirrors, bouncy chair, rattles, activity boards, nesting cups, bath-time toys, etc.

Ages 1-3:

  • Educational toys, tea party set, play kitchen set, balls, interactive light-up toys, simple toy cars, little baby dolls, big blocks, stacking rings, big puzzles with 4-5 pieces, simple instruments, play phones, etc.
  • Arts & crafts kits, dolls, toy cars, blocks, flash cards, ride-along toys, outside games, chalk, Play-Doh, construction sets with large pieces (Legos or Lincoln Logs), action figures, Barbies, dress-up clothes, small sports balls, tricycles, etc.
  • Remote control cars, science kits, magnets, magnifying glasses, craft kits, computer/video games, Legos, K’nex, outdoor games, sports equipment, model kits, Nerf games, etc.

HIGH NEED: Traditionally, toys for this age bracket are one of our lowest areas of inventory

  • Arts & crafts, hair chalk, bath bombs, headphones, Nerf games, nail polish, play make-up kits, science kits, backpacks, advanced coloring posters or books, room decorations, sports equipment, outdoor games, computer/video games, skateboards, dart board, door-hanging basketball hoop/game, etc.

HIGH NEED: Traditionally, toys for this age bracket are one of our lowest areas of inventory

  • Room décor (bedding, blankets, pillows, dart board, etc.), make-up, headphones/ear pods, cool sweatshirts/shirts/hoodies, sports gear, skateboards, speakers, razors, duffle bags, jewelry, purses, backpacks, robes, slippers, art supplies, cell phone charging pads, etc.