The JOY of Giving
One of the best things we can teach our children is the joy of giving. The past two Decembers several of our children served Christmas dinner to some local World War II veterans. The students listened to their inspiring stories and gifted them with thank you notes. What a privilege that our children could be exposed to these men who bravely served our country.
Event planning starts in the late summer as students from around our area read biographical sketches about each soldier. These brave young men courageously approached war, survived capture and captivity. Several told of their Christmas in a prisoner of war camp. One told of being turned in to the enemy for the equivalent of one United States dollar. All humbly accept the attention and gifts from students and local businesses. This experience is a win-win for all involved. The students read more about WWII. Often veterans' stories prompt reading or discussion as new questions are brought up about geography or history. What a gift to meet these unassuming heroes.
This year an anonymous donor sponsored the event at the famous Peabody Venetian room. The organizer of the event gathered help from friends. My group of homeschool friends collected magnolia leaves, pine branches and nandina berries for the decorations. Our students wrote notes to each soldier. Students spent extra time during the week compiling the boxes and preparing goodies for the tables.
Another event which has become an annual tradition for our family has been Christmas at the Warrior Center. Our life group class meets at midnight in our church parking lot, then we travel as a convoy to the Warrior Center, which is an alcohol and drug treatment center. Our friend Lenny goes door to door waking up residents, instructing them to come to the kitchen for an early morning breakfast and gifts. Our children help with the cooking and serve the residents. It's a very touching experience
Families adopt a resident or two for whom to bring a stocking full of toiletries. Each receive a Bible to encourage them in their growth. Small gifts of socks, scarves and gloves help as the cold approaches.
Christmas time offers numerous ways to share and give to others. Our family also loves to make Samaritan's Purse Christmas boxes. We collect for these all year long. My children bake treats or find a small thank you gift for each of their teachers. Neighbors are gifted to a yummy surprise too.
Small gestures mean a great deal!!
Share your favorite ways to share the JOY of giving this season!!
Here's a video clip of the Warrior Center event.