‘Tis the season for giving!

It’s been a while since my last post, so I thought it was about time for me to check in.  I have had a few people ask me if we are still doing our projects, so I wanted to get the word out that we are still at it!  A lot of the projects we are doing now are repeats of projects we did last year, so I hesitate to bore you all with posts of the same old projects.  Some of them are just such great projects that we will keep doing them forever!  One such project is Reverse Trick-or-Treating.  I have now done this project four or five times with my kids, and each time it has been as wonderful as the time before.  I think of Reverse Trick-or-Treating as sort of the kick off to the holiday season when it comes to giving!

No idea what I’m talking about?  Let me explain!  Trick-or-treating is always lots of fun, but it’s all about receiving and pigging out on junk food.  Neither of those activities are what “teaching to give” is all about, so several years ago I came up with the idea of “Reverse Trick-or-Treating.”  I started this event at our church, and this year I got my moms’ group involved for the first time.  We put together goodie bags and decorated them.  Then we took the kids in their Halloween costumes to a nearby assisted living facility, and the kids went around handing out the goodie bags to the residents.   This project blesses the kids (and parents) as much as it does the residents.  Everyone has a great time!

This year we had about a dozen or so kids.  My favorite part?  Not one of them asked for a single thing!  They all had a great time and really seemed to connect with the residents.  Jake (my 2.5 year old) really clicked with one man at the facility.  They spent several minutes together after the other kids had left.  I loved it!  Here they are….

Halloween is still a week away – so there is still time to get out and do this fun project!  I promise – it will be well worth your time and you will want to do it year after year!  Here’s a shot of Abby (aka Dorothy) giving out a goodie bag…

Another great project we did last year was Operation Christmas Child.   Operation Christmas Child collects shoeboxes full of goodies and delivers them to less fortunate children all over the world.  Christmas may seem far away, but the collection week for Operation Christmas Child is right around the corner – November 12-19.  If you donate for shipping online, you can track your package and know exactly where your shoe box goes.  Our shoe box last year went to Haiti.  I will definitely do this project with my kids again this year.  If you’re interested, you can find a location to drop off your shoe box here.

We are still also working on projects for the Fresh Start Academy in Kenya.  We  have been collecting shoes for months, and we are getting ready to ship them soon.  A friend of mine took it upon herself to collect shoes, too, and she is coming over tomorrow with more than 100 pairs of shoes!  Another blog reader contacted me and put a box in the mail today with more shoes for us to send.  I am still nervous about the cost of shipping the shoes over there, but I’m trying to take a “God will provide” approach.  We’ll see how that works out! (Of note, it really warms my heart when people contact me and say they have been inspired.  The blog reader who just shipped the shoes told me she is taking her children out on a neighborhood food drive and going reverse trick-or-treating.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!!!)

With the holidays coming up, this is a great time to get involved with teaching your children to give.  I have several fun ideas for the upcoming holidays – so stay tuned!

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