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Cocoa Biblical stories and gifts filled special event

Bikes await new owners during the "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party and giveaway event at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]
Bikes await new owners during the "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party and giveaway event at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]

Biblical characters sharing Bible stories and candy during a "Bible Walk."

Photos with Santa.

S'mores and hot cocoa.

Colorful new bicycles and other gifts.

These are what Christmas dreams are made of.

The Oklahoma City Dream Center's "Christmas in the Hood" block party drew an estimated crowd of 700 families for a festive time of holiday cheer.

Chase Parsons, the center's assistant director, said the party served as a celebration of the center's ongoing ministry to the residents living in the neighborhoods surrounding the center at 2212 SW 55.

The party included holiday food, games and bounce houses.

Special activities like the Bible Walk featured characters like Noah, Sarah, the Three Wise Men, Jesus and others, bringing their biblical stories to life in dramatic fashion.

The event culminated with the distribution of 600 Christmas gifts for children 14 and younger. Parsons said 70 new bicycles were given away to youths at the gathering.

Parsons said the Oklahoma City Dream Center's mission is to reach, rescue and restore people in need to achieve their dreams. He said the center, led by executive director Deborah Burke seeks to reconnect people who have been isolated by poverty, substance abuse, gangs, imprisonment, homelessness, abuse and neglect to God and to a community of support to meet their physical and spiritual needs.

The center's ultimate goal is to help families develop a support system that will encourage them to make positive, long-term, God-honoring changes in their lives, Parsons said.

Meanwhile, there was still a little work to be done for volunteers after the party ended.

Parsons said 200 children wrote letters to Santa at the letter-writing booth at the party. He said the gift on each formatted letter was purchased with the help of volunteers and the center's community partners and distributed to the young letter writers. Also, Parsons said 102 children who attended the party were sponsored for Christmas and expected to receive additional gifts and items in the days before Christmas.

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"It was another great year with all of the volunteer partners. We're just looking to build more and more next year," he said.

For more information about the center, go to www.dcokc.org.

Related Photos
<strong>Melanie McCracken, 3, shows the ornament she made during the "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</strong>

Melanie McCracken, 3, shows the ornament she made during the "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6c9177cb1be4a8a690221761a40e870b.jpg" alt="Photo - Melanie McCracken, 3, shows the ornament she made during the "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] " title=" Melanie McCracken, 3, shows the ornament she made during the "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Melanie McCracken, 3, shows the ornament she made during the "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1312bab814a43110a92874f9a134702e.jpg" alt="Photo - Cam Bryant portrays the biblical character "Noah" as part of the Bible Walk during the "Christmas in the Hood" party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] " title=" Cam Bryant portrays the biblical character "Noah" as part of the Bible Walk during the "Christmas in the Hood" party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Cam Bryant portrays the biblical character "Noah" as part of the Bible Walk during the "Christmas in the Hood" party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5d4081c14be2c82191732533e5347df0.jpg" alt="Photo - A child bowls at a game booth at the "Christmas in the Hood" event at Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] " title=" A child bowls at a game booth at the "Christmas in the Hood" event at Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> A child bowls at a game booth at the "Christmas in the Hood" event at Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-63725187dd37fe8f71ae679feba1d1da.jpg" alt="Photo - Hunter Spears, Kyler Plemons and Daniel Tucker portray the "Three Wise Men" as part of the Bible Walk during the Oklahoma City Dream Center's "Christmas in the Hood" party. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] " title=" Hunter Spears, Kyler Plemons and Daniel Tucker portray the "Three Wise Men" as part of the Bible Walk during the Oklahoma City Dream Center's "Christmas in the Hood" party. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Hunter Spears, Kyler Plemons and Daniel Tucker portray the "Three Wise Men" as part of the Bible Walk during the Oklahoma City Dream Center's "Christmas in the Hood" party. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c9ba1fdcb7c1769adf32c4b489a3175e.jpg" alt="Photo - Melanie McCracken, 3, and her sister, Delilah McCraken, 7 make ornaments at an ornament-making booth at the Oklahoma City Dream Center's "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] " title=" Melanie McCracken, 3, and her sister, Delilah McCraken, 7 make ornaments at an ornament-making booth at the Oklahoma City Dream Center's "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Melanie McCracken, 3, and her sister, Delilah McCraken, 7 make ornaments at an ornament-making booth at the Oklahoma City Dream Center's "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-86658c41a2cebe03056ca71da9f69f5f.jpg" alt="Photo - Jasmine Andrews, 8, picks out fabric for her "prayer pillow" during the "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party at Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] " title=" Jasmine Andrews, 8, picks out fabric for her "prayer pillow" during the "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party at Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Jasmine Andrews, 8, picks out fabric for her "prayer pillow" during the "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party at Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-52f394dd5f16ca6fdf182e79ed591135.jpg" alt="Photo - Jasmine Andrews, 8, waits with her mother, Brittany Andrews, as Karen Stite sews her "prayer pillow" up during the "Christmas in the Hood" party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] " title=" Jasmine Andrews, 8, waits with her mother, Brittany Andrews, as Karen Stite sews her "prayer pillow" up during the "Christmas in the Hood" party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Jasmine Andrews, 8, waits with her mother, Brittany Andrews, as Karen Stite sews her "prayer pillow" up during the "Christmas in the Hood" party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ac7d8fce49e4fbb3582b926fd9bf66b7.jpg" alt="Photo - Isaiah Werner, 2, sits on Santa's lap during the "Christmas in the Hood" party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] " title=" Isaiah Werner, 2, sits on Santa's lap during the "Christmas in the Hood" party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Isaiah Werner, 2, sits on Santa's lap during the "Christmas in the Hood" party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-cdf746680369c69fd0e43a33f4ceefec.jpg" alt="Photo - A pickup leaves the "Christmas in the Hood"party with four new children's bikes after the "Christmas in the Hood" party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] " title=" A pickup leaves the "Christmas in the Hood"party with four new children's bikes after the "Christmas in the Hood" party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> A pickup leaves the "Christmas in the Hood"party with four new children's bikes after the "Christmas in the Hood" party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a89d7c88a7b28c036b0b0bfffd9db912.jpg" alt="Photo - Melanie McCracken, 3, shows the ornament she made during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Melanie McCracken, 3, shows the ornament she made during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Melanie McCracken, 3, shows the ornament she made during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5a1b5a73513fc657f75dc7cd422ca862.jpg" alt="Photo - Families ilne up during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Families ilne up during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Families ilne up during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b1e34e17fda2ba73009bc8bbd9bb645d.jpg" alt="Photo - Bikes await new owners during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Bikes await new owners during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Bikes await new owners during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b86d038288aa09273b209d722240f386.jpg" alt="Photo - Families had plenty of games to play during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Families had plenty of games to play during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Families had plenty of games to play during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-573def127e834810607b3c1b3c2a885f.jpg" alt="Photo - Cam Bryant portrays &quot;Noah&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Cam Bryant portrays &quot;Noah&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Cam Bryant portrays &quot;Noah&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-26be45d9ae3b8d8f8fa0c1e61fac07c0.jpg" alt="Photo - Hunter Spears, left, Kyler Plemons, and Daniel Tucker, right, portray the &quot;Three Wise Men&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Hunter Spears, left, Kyler Plemons, and Daniel Tucker, right, portray the &quot;Three Wise Men&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Hunter Spears, left, Kyler Plemons, and Daniel Tucker, right, portray the &quot;Three Wise Men&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-877ba4fb3a2f7cc0ac6e2e5442b4e5ce.jpg" alt="Photo - Tori Kitchel portrays &quot;Mary&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Tori Kitchel portrays &quot;Mary&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Tori Kitchel portrays &quot;Mary&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8110913b048054a804e2433c144a0d75.jpg" alt="Photo - Aaron Logerstedt as &quot;Sampson: and Abigail Radford as &quot;Delilah&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Aaron Logerstedt as &quot;Sampson: and Abigail Radford as &quot;Delilah&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Aaron Logerstedt as &quot;Sampson: and Abigail Radford as &quot;Delilah&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e7e647211093c8b4898bc880647f903c.jpg" alt="Photo - Daniel Tucker, left, Kyler Plemons, and Hunter Spears, right, portray the &quot;Three Wise Men&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Daniel Tucker, left, Kyler Plemons, and Hunter Spears, right, portray the &quot;Three Wise Men&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Daniel Tucker, left, Kyler Plemons, and Hunter Spears, right, portray the &quot;Three Wise Men&quot; during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ec727eff566726d72d8ce6a2a9136b97.jpg" alt="Photo - Children look at decorations during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Children look at decorations during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Children look at decorations during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-261361a0bbf932bbe08cf1997bfebe78.jpg" alt="Photo - Melanie McCracken, 3, and her sister, Delilah McCraken, 7 make ornaments during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Melanie McCracken, 3, and her sister, Delilah McCraken, 7 make ornaments during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Melanie McCracken, 3, and her sister, Delilah McCraken, 7 make ornaments during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-afc65d8c6142c94d567202c3bd77c4d5.jpg" alt="Photo - Rebecca Shiplett helps children make ornaments during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Rebecca Shiplett helps children make ornaments during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Rebecca Shiplett helps children make ornaments during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1a7b96aa01284eb035ea2384e00f148d.jpg" alt="Photo - Jasmine Andrews, 8, picks out a pillow during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Jasmine Andrews, 8, picks out a pillow during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Jasmine Andrews, 8, picks out a pillow during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1c026bec078a4f764952c683c643eae6.jpg" alt="Photo - Jasmine Andrews, 8, waits with her mother, Brittany Andrews, as Karen Stite sews her pillow up during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Jasmine Andrews, 8, waits with her mother, Brittany Andrews, as Karen Stite sews her pillow up during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Jasmine Andrews, 8, waits with her mother, Brittany Andrews, as Karen Stite sews her pillow up during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-668762ab66973bf4d707ac5886185a53.jpg" alt="Photo - Isiah Werner, 2, sits on Santa's lap during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Isiah Werner, 2, sits on Santa's lap during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Isiah Werner, 2, sits on Santa's lap during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5e20128e888ddb2efa4481046701224b.jpg" alt="Photo - Nalania Alaska, 8, eats candy during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Nalania Alaska, 8, eats candy during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Nalania Alaska, 8, eats candy during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9beb8ba25209cccb6d6080d769af3e88.jpg" alt="Photo - Phil Freeman during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="Phil Freeman during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Phil Freeman during the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3325187ef5c6cc98b705ea993cbe4495.jpg" alt="Photo - A pickup leaves the party with four brand new bikes for the children after the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]" title="A pickup leaves the party with four brand new bikes for the children after the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>A pickup leaves the party with four brand new bikes for the children after the Christmas in the Hood party at the Oklahoma City Dream Center, Saturday, December 14, 2019. [Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-384f9ef709c7a72aa450b966a09628f9.jpg" alt="Photo - Bikes await new owners during the "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party and giveaway event at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] " title=" Bikes await new owners during the "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party and giveaway event at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Bikes await new owners during the "Christmas in the Hood" holiday party and giveaway event at the Oklahoma City Dream Center. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Carla Hinton

Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide... Read more ›

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