FORT SMITH, Ark.(KNWA/KFTA)– A Fort Smith church keeping hope alive as they donate essential items to those who are in need.

The holidays can be tough for many people and to send comfort during hard times, members of the community gathered together to give back.

“At Evangel Temple, we like for folks to know is whether they’re in a very difficult place or they’re alone that they don’t have to be,” Ryan Rose said.

Ryan Rose is the Associate Pastor at Evangel Temple in Fort Smith and says Christmas should be a day of joy for everyone.

“Letting people know that they’re loved that they’re cared for, and put a smile on their face or their family’s face,” Rose said.

Rose says they dedicated today to giving because many people around the world depend on the smallest items to survive.

“There’s those who purchase and package together the basic essentials: sleeping bags, socks, snacks, toiletries, that type of thing,” Rose said.

Bradley Clayen the Founder of Every Soul Matters Ministry has firsthand experience with how those items can save a person’s life.

“It really was a focal point, it was really kind of watershed moment for a lot of people and organizations when Ray and Amanda passed we had known them for a couple of years,” Clayen said.

Ray and Amanda Topf are a homeless couple that died in their tent during a cold storm in February of 2020 at Walker Park.

Clayen says it was a passing he feels could’ve been avoided and that is why he advocates so hard for people to give.

“We get caught up in there’s nothing I can do but see each of us can do a little something and if each of us does that a little bit of something that makes a huge difference,” Clayen said.

Rose says and it all boils down to treating others like you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes.

“We need to treat them with the same respect and the same dignity and the same compassion we would treat anybody with and that’s the goal of Evangel Temple and everybody who comes and volunteers here,” Rose said.

Rose and Clayen encourage people to not stop giving as the holidays wind down because nothing is better than a gift that comes from the heart.