UPDATE: 8:20 a.m. ET Dec. 8: This article was updated to include more information on Destiny acquiring the campus of Capitol Christian Center.
A California megachurch is gearing up to host over 2,000 people at an event this weekend where children from local families in need will receive toys, books and clothes this Christmas.
Destiny Christian Church, an Assemblies of God-affiliated congregation with campuses in Rocklin and Sacramento, will host its annual Love Our City Christmas event on Saturday at its 64,000-square-foot Destiny Community Center.
The event will feature a Christmas-themed space with winter and holiday decorations. Every child will receive a toy, shoes, clothes, a jacket, and a family-friendly book for Christmas. Santa Claus will also make an appearance to take photos with children. The event will also feature hot chocolate and games.
Destiny Church spokesperson Tanner DiBella told The Christian Post that the church has hosted the Love Our City Christmas event since 2013. The project stems from a "a desire to bless the community."
"For many during the holiday season, there are practical needs that are simply not met. Food, clothing and security seem out of reach for many underserved families, and that becomes more prominent during the holidays," he said.
"Destiny's Christmas outreach event helps meet those needs and more, where we can bless families and provide a wonderful Christmas experience with toys, books, pictures with Santa and a day of cheer for everyone."
DiBella said Destiny Church has added space this year to accommodate more families. The church is also adding a "Storyland" area where children can select a book to take home.
More than 2,000 underserved families are registered for the event, DiBella said, and around 200 volunteers will help out in assorted roles at the gathering.
"In addition to the practical needs that are met, we want each family to know how truly loved they are," he said. "The holidays can be a reminder of loss, lack and loneliness, and we want each child and parent to feel seen and loved. Christmas is a reminder to us all of the profound gift of grace, mercy, love and salvation, and we desire each family to walk away with that realization."
Earlier this year, Destiny Lead Pastor Greg Fairrington and Capital Christian Center Lead Pastor Rick Cole released a joint letter announcing that the Sacramento-based Capitol Center would join Destiny as a satellite campus.
"Over the past few years, Capital has experienced a destabilization of its financial foundation," said Fairrington and Cole in the letter.
"Collaborating with Destiny, and uniting under their spiritual leadership, provides the necessary financial and spiritual strength to continue its impact in the region for decades to come."
As the process unfolded, Capital would eventually close down, with Destiny relaunching the campus as a satellite location, instead of enacting a merger.