My Five Favorite Organizations and Opportunities to participate in during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
(I know it's still November but with some of these you need to think ahead.)
Operation Christmas Child - Samaritans Purse.
This is the shoe box project.
You pack a shoe box FULL of gifts for a specific age child.
National Collection Week is November 15-22.
Make your kids a part of this project.
Take the shoe box to the store with you - let you kid fill it.
If you can, have each child do a shoe box for a child their age.
I have a very fond memory of Ian packing a shoe box when he was three.
We were picking out a wash cloth to put in the shoe box and he said, "Blue. Ryan likes the color blue."
I said, "Who is Ryan?"
"That's the boy that is getting the box." (He said it with a tone implying that I should have known this.)
He talked about Ryan for days.
Obviously we have no idea what the child's name was that received that box and we didn't know anyone by this name.
Ian had just connected with this unknown child.
It made it even sweeter.
World Vision Gift Catalog
You pick out items for children in need and purchase them.
You can buy 2 chicks for $25.
A goat for $75.
There are so many choices.
If your kids are like mine they look through every toy catalog that comes this time of year.
They circle things they want.
They cut things out.
Let your kids shop through this catalog and impact a child in need.
Our church in Utah did this as an entire Children's Ministry.
It was a neat experience - children saving money to buy a cow!
Give a well.
The girls over at Project 320 will be doing some amazing projects again for water.
Watch for that.
You could do some sort of water project with your kids to understand the need.
It's such a basic need that changes so many lives.
Check your area and see what opportunities there are.
Maybe you can get your hands involved in sorting toys for a ministry.
Our school sent home a packet from a local shelter.
$1.57 buys a homeless person a Thanksgiving Meal.
Maybe each of your kids wants to buy a homeless person a meal.
I made this name up but that's what I call it.
My definition: When you make a purchase that has a dual purpose. It benefits someone in need and it gives you a gift for someone on your list that has a deeper meaning.
I've been given gifts that I know benefited someone else by being purchased.
I love that.
I've given a few like that.
You will see opportunities for this all over during the holidays . . . just make sure the organizations or people offering these are trustworthy.
I will be hosting a 31 Bits Design party later this month!
It provides income for women in Uganda.
You can come and "dual gift" shop!
I'm just waiting for my box of goodness.
Go Big and sponsor a child.
This is an ongoing commitment.
Allows the giving to keep going all year long.
World Vision and Compassion International are two very reputable organizations for sponsoring a child.
Somehow when I look for ways to teach my kids to give, I give.
When I give generously they learn to give generously.
Ultimately we all are just trying to learn from the ultimate Giver.