Congratulations to Jarret and Jennifer Hamilton! The couple are the recipients of the 2023 Christmas Spirit Award, receiving recognition during the 33rd annual Downtown Clayton Christmas Village and Tree Lighting on Thursday, November 30.
As founders of Generation Church, the couple work closely with One Compassion to plan and host outreach events. Jennifer serves as executive director of the Jimmy Carroll Foundation, a non-profit that addresses social disparities, and Jarret mentors student athletes as chaplain of the Clayton High School Varsity Football Team. They also open their home weekly for Monday night dinners to offer a safe space and create a sense of community not only for their own teens but others too.
Over the last year, Jennifer says she and other volunteers have noticed an uptick in demand for local assistance. “I don’t remember seeing the last time that many people were up against it [the wall], doing everything that they can to scrape by and coming up short over and over again. It doesn’t take a whole lot for people to find themselves in desperation - just one car repair, one sick kid, one bad circumstance in a relationship, and they’re facing homelessness and food insecurity… those types of things.”
While they may not always see the impact of their work, Jennifer says she and her husband are dedicated to paying it forward. “Beyond the tangible things like money, food, clothing, shelter and electronics, just the joy that we have out of gratitude for a life of joy, peace and fulfillment, we would be compelled out of that gratitude to extend it to others.”
The Christmas Spirit Award acknowledges individuals who embody the spirit of giving, kindness and community involvement as well as work to make the Town of Clayton a better place to work, live and play. All nominations come directly from members of the community. Here are a couple thoughts that they shared about the Hamiltons:
Their amazingly giving nature, care for the community they live in, and love for the people of the town are something each of us should aspire to.
Their community outreach offers such a positive impact that will live on for decades to come.
Jennifer says she and Jarret are surprised and honored to receive the award, citing they don’t provide local support for the recognition. For them, giving back means “…extending the love that God has for our community with no strings attached - whether that be this time of year or really year-round.”
The Hamiltons encourage others to donate their time and become active in the community. For a list of volunteer opportunities with the Town of Clayton, click here.