Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Blessing of Giving: A Challenge

I've had a very nice, relaxing day today. While reading my December Real Simple magazine, I read a letter from a woman in Leander, TX that just touched my heart. She said that she, her husband, and her brother celebrated Christmas Eve last year by driving around handing out care packages. Inside the bags were mittens, blankets, scarves, snacks, etc. and a hot hamburger they had just purchased. They drove around looking for homeless people sleeping under overpasses and on the street. Can you just imagine the spirit of giving that welled up inside of them for doing that? I want that for our family. I want Noah to know the raw feeling of unselfish giving to those who are in desperate need and those who are strangers to us, but not to the Lord. I want to plan for and bless those who need it so much more than we do. I talked to David about it and we are going to pass out Christmas bags on the night of December 23rd. I think it will be the perfect day, especially right before Noah receives his Christmas presents. It goes along with the quote from my previous blog post... What will you give? and THEN....What will you get?

And now I challenge you to do the same with your family. Choose an evening on the calendar for your deliveries. Fill your sacks with things that will make someone that needs it so very much feel warm, loved, and special. And make sure your children help you purchase items and fill the bags. The night of your delivery, pick up a hot food item to place in each bag. Maybe take a photo of your family with all of the packages before you leave the house. I can't imagine a bigger blessing for a family during this precious time of year. How about your family?

Just some ideas for the care packages:

fleece blanket in bright colors (I've seen them for $4-5 at Walmart)
toothbrush/toothpaste or mouthwash
Christmas card (when was the last time some of these people received a Christmas card?)
mittens in bright colors (also inexpensive at Walmart)
soft snacks (in case of bad teeth)
bottles of water
clean underwear
nail clippers
Fast food gift card (instead of cash)
hot hamburger
pocket bible

I pray that your family will participate. And please let me know if you do. I'd LOVE to hear other families' stories and see photos. :)

Feeling blessed,
- Jennifer

"The poorest of the poor are those who feel that they are unloved." - Mother Teresa

"No matter how little you have, you can always give some of it away." - Catherine Marshall

"He who waits to do a great deal of good at once will never do anything." - Samuel Johnson


Jennifer said...

Wonderful that you are doing that with your kids. Your actions will speak volumes to them...

Deanna Kroll said...

How wonderful that you and your family will be doing this this year. I hope others may take this challenge as well.

kelly edgerton said...

What a fabulous idea. We will be on the west coast the week before and after Christmas. I'm going to have to do this with my kids in January. They will be intrigued and a little in awe of this idea. What a great gift to give our children - the gift of giving. Thanks Jennifer for sharing this. Great entry, great idea!

Heather D. White said...

Every year, my family does a service project for Christmas, along with service Christmas dinner at the Salvation Army on Christmas Day. This year, we have adopted a family for Christmas. I definitely agree with making sure to do SOMETHING service-oriented at Christmas. Oddly enough, I can't tell you what I received for Christmas even just LAST YEAR, but I remember every single service project that we have ever done...and I definitely remember the way they made me feel. I think that alone says what is the most important part of Christmas. I love your's entry is awesome, as usual!!

stephanie said...

What an amazing act of service idea. We will definitely put that one in action this year.

Thank you for the list of suggested items, too.

Have a blessed season of giving.

Bridget said...

OK, Jennifer, are you trying to make me cry? I think that's a wonderful idea. No wonder Noah's such a great kid--he's got a great mom.

Love ya girlfriend!

Lisa G said...

Jennifer, we love to bless those in need. What an awesome challenge. What a blessing...Lisa

Miss Carrie said...

That sounds like an amazing idea!

Sophia said...

What a beautiful entry, Jennifer. We live in a community that literally has no homeless people. (We are far enough off the major freeway that they stay towards SLC and don't bother coming over our mountains.) So this is not an option. But, we do have families in need and that is something that we've enjoyed trying to help with each year. This year, our Bunco group opted not to play but to donate towards a family in need. It was selfless on our part because the prizes in December are the best of the year! LOL

Anyway, thanks for this great reminder! Great list too! I'd have never thought about clean undies!


Wendy Reed (Wishin4MoreTime) said...

What a wonderful idea!! Thanks for sharing.

Becky said...

What a wonderful idea.

Robin said...

Wow! What a great thing to do Jennifer! We will try to rise to your challenge to help someone out this year. :-)

Anonymous said...

This is really such a wonderful thing! Awesome idea!

Heather said...

Such wonderful thoughts Jennifer! It is always so nice to give without expecting nothing back! We just did the shoeboxes and it is so fun to teach Kiersten about just this! Thanks for sharing! ;)

Carla said...

A thoughtful and thought-provoking post, Jennifer. Thanks for reminding us what the spirit of the season is all about. :)

Stevie said...

What a great gift for those less fortunate! We do the shoeboxes, which are great fun! Blessings!