Free pony rides and chili Christmas day

Needy families without gifts this Christmas can spend Christmas Day with something you can’t buy from a store. The Prentice family has been offering free pony rides in their backyard for the last few years to help brighten the days of people in need.

Jay Prentice makes chili for their guests as Lori leads children on ponies adorned in jingle bells. The Prentice children, Melanie, Tim and Ginger, reach out to the 20 or so children that come to escape the stress that tight finances can have on the holiday season.

The free children’s event will be held 2:30 - 5:30 p.m., at 49997 Pierce Dr., Oakhurst.

“Many ask if there is a way they can help,” Lori said. “We ran out of chili last year, and this year it looks like we will have quite a lot more families, so anyone who would like to drop some chili by our church or come serve while we are giving pony rides, that would really be a big help.”

Bags of toys are dropped at the Prentice home and at Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church,to help on Christmas day. Jay Prentice

“We want to make it clear to the guests coming, that though many times we do have gifts for the children, the biggest gift of all is being able to spend time with your family,” said Jay Prentice.

The Prentices have had a homeless ministry they operate out of their own home, bringing complete strangers into their spare room, which they converted into a little apartment. Lori published a book, “The Best Dinner I Never Ate,” that she hopes will inspire others to look at the growing child homeless population with an intent to act.

“It’s not enough to hand out a $5 out of your car window or give an old coat,” said Lori. “Those things are small patches on oozing wounds. We can come together as a society and solve the issue of homelessness one family at a time.”

Lori has spoken face-to-face with best-selling authors, and homeless advocates.

Leigh Anne Tuohy, portrayed by Sandra Bullock in the Academy Award winning movie “The Blind Side,” supports her ministry.

Details: (559) 580-9845.