Daily Advent Gift: Day 8

Today, one of my boys’ went to a birthday party where they requested we didn’t bring any gifts for the child. Instead, they requested we bring an unwrapped gift for a child through Toys for Tots. What a great way to teach kids to give. Love that!

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The Toys for Tots Mission is…

The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

Consider buying a toy for a child and dropping it in a Toys for Tots bin. Find locations here.

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Daily Advent Gift: Day 4

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“Today, the Boston Rescue Mission continues to aid the homeless and poor of Greater Boston to self-sufficiency by assisting women and men in confronting and overcoming the root causes of their homelessness. To this end, the Mission provides basic life necessities such as food and shelter as well as social service programs. The goal is to provide the homeless and poor with the support, training, and resources necessary to sustain independent living for a lifetime.”

Boston Rescue Mission secure Donation Page

I encourage you to give to your local shelter. But if you’re not able, or they don’t have a need, give to the good folks at Boston Rescue Mission.

Daily Advent Gift: Day 3

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“Few things are as heart wrenching as the cry of a hungry baby. But that’s a sound heard all too often in famine-stricken villages and refugee camps where children of all ages cry themselves to sleep. Malnutrition requires swift and special attention to prevent crippling bone deformities and developmental disabilities. Samaritan’s Purse offers therapeutic feeding programs in dire situations to nourish these little ones back to health while presenting a powerful witness for Christ. A gift of just $9 can feed a baby or a nursing mother for a week.”

Samaritan’s Purse Feed a Hungry Baby for a Week Donation Page

Daily Advent Gift: Day 2

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“The world’s deadliest creature, the mosquito, kills nearly 655,000 people every year. While preventing malaria is inexpensive by U.S. standards, it’s out of reach for poor African families who must watch helplessly as their children suffer and die. Your gift will provide one of the best ways to protect children from malaria—bed nets—as well as critical education for prevention and control.

Every $18 you give will provide long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets that will protect an entire family from this deadly disease. Since these nets can be used for approximately four years, that means you will save the life of a family for only 18 cents a month! It’s one of the best investments you’ll ever make!”

World Vision Bed Nets Donation Page

Daily Advent Gift: Day 1

Advent brings many different traditions. Some people hide an Elf around the house, some have daily readings, some practice daily acts of kindness. Last year, the boys and I practiced giving by delivering poinsettias throughout town, donating clothes, buying new toys & clothes for those in need. Truthfully, we’ll probably do many of those same things this year. But the year, we’re going to Give More. In lieu of creating Holiday Gift Guides for Non-Profits, my family and I are donating to a non-profit. Every day of advent.

Why?

The more I give, the less I want.

Join me, won’t you? It doesn’t have to be a lot. Keep reading to see what $1 can do…

Day 1? Blood:Water Mission

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Blood:Water Mission is a grassroots organization that empowers communities to work together against the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa.

Blood:Water Mission

Friends: One Dollar. Less than the cup of Starbucks will give someone in Africa a year of clean water. You can donate any amount ($5 minimum) through the secure Blood:Water Donation Page.

Oof. The year I totally forgot about Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child shoebox

Oof. Operation Christmas Child boxes are due this week. THIS. WEEK. (What is Operation Christmas Child? Not only does it help children, but it’s a great giving activity with kids. The boys and I put together shoeboxes last year – see it here!) See, I have this blog about giving. And I’ve been consumed with my little startup. And what happens? I let everything slide. Like what?

Giving. This blog. Making giving a priority.

See, I get it. We get busy. Consumed with other things.

But it’s okay. The sweet, wonderful people at Samaritan’s Purse understand. They must really love me. Because let’s be honest, my heart sank when the boys realized it was Operation Christmas Child week. They said “Ooohhh! I can’t wait to do that again this year!” And I realized, but you’re in school all day, and I missed out on shopping with you this weekend, and this week is already looking crazy….

Guys. Samaritan’s Purse made an ‘Build a Shoebox Online‘! They made an interactive process where you can go through, pick out what you want to include in your shoebox, pay a fee and you’re done. They do the rest.

And yes, creating a shoebox online takes away from all those moments when you can walk through the store with your kids, pick out items, pack them up and pray for the child that will receive them.

But I’d so much rather a child receive something than nothing. To know they are loved and cared for. Despite my inability to prioritize our time right now.

For those you who are able to pack a shoebox for a child in need, they must be delivered this week: November 18-25. Find a dropoff location here. Wondering how to pack a shoebox?

Operation Christmas Child Processing

Who knows, maybe I’ll get my act in gear this week. But I’m thankful that even if I don’t, I can build a shoebox online. I encourage you to do the same.

The giving hearts of 5 year olds

My 5 year olds are really sweet. Wild, but loving and thoughtful boys.

We’ve done a few giving activities together (like this, this and this). So I was touched when one came to me with a leftover cardboard box, saying he wanted a bow to put on top so he could give it to his 8 year old cousin for Christmas. I asked him what was inside. A large silver ribbon bow that he been cut off of a Christmas gift the day prior. And an empty Tic Tac container.

He said the bow would look pretty in her hair.

And he liked that the container still smelled like the strawberry candies that had been inside.

God bless my sweet niece for smiling and thanking him when she opened this gift. A gift that others might think was trash.

Today, the same sweet boy came to me with another leftover cardboard box. He had stuffed it with an old toy cheerleading pom pom, telling me he was going to give it to his great-grandma this weekend at her surprise 90th birthday party. He wanted to make sure he had a gift for her, one that she would like. He even went into the basement, picked out the prettiest wrapping paper, wrapped it up and put a bow on it. Melts my heart.

A gift from a 5 year old

Amazed by his giving heart!