The first one was a new experience. Our church is once again providing Christmas for an entire alternative high school and promised to give gifts to each student. Our family "adopted" a teenage mother and her infant son from the list. We had so much fun filling her wish list and picking out adorable baby clothes. I also appreciated the opportunity to speak to my children's hearts about caring for those who have chosen to parent even when the path is rough and less than ideal. This young woman, like many others, is courageous and needs encouragement to reach her greatest potential. We were able to complete her wish list and then some.
Our second charity this week was filling shoe boxes for Meals on Wheels. We have done this for several years now and always enjoy it. My focus with this project each year is to help the children think of those who are alone and shut in. The folks who receive these boxes are elderly or disabled and will likely not get out at all this holiday season.
Our third charity was the book drive at the library. Each year, we pick a few kids off the holiday giving tree and purchase books for them. I remember the first time my kids realized that not all houses were filled with books. They were shocked!!
For our fourth charity activity, we attended Return to Bethlehem (a reenactment of Bethlehem at the time of the birth of Jesus). There are no pictures allowed, but it is always fun. All of the money that you give to "beggars" throughout the reenactment goes to help a local outreach program that works with the homeless.
Lastly, we donated a few food items to the local food distribution center. They maintain a huge food tree at the mall and my kids have been going to it for years. It is a wonderful opportunity to speak to them about the importance of giving back when you are so abundantly blessed. Dean and Anne have never known true hunger and for that they are abundantly blessed.
We have a few more charities to cover in the next few weeks.