MTL Christmas - Page 20

GIFTS OF GOOD WILL Why not add Jesus to your Christmas list this year? Intentionally think about what you could give Jesus to bring Him joy as you spread good will and cheer to those around you. Encourage your children to participate in the decisionmaking process. Children can help earn money to purchase the gifts by doing chores for family and friends. Basic Needs Children can easily relate to basic needs such as food, water and clothing and can learn an important lesson when they give these items as gifts: They have the power to make a difference. Heart Passions Does your group or family have a passion for the arts, sports or music? Consider sponsoring classes, a uniform or instrument for a child in need. Contact your local community center, recreation center or school and ask how you can help. Real life: Through their children’s public school, a woman and her husband sponsored a band uniform for a child in need, not knowing who would receive it. A few days later, she ran into her neighbor who tearfully told her he had lost his job, but a stranger had touched his heart by sponsoring his daughter’s band uniform. WATER Every day, over 4,000 children die of water-related diseases. For $79, you can sponsor clean water for a child and their family in a developing country for life. Visit Compassion International at compassion.org to learn more. FOOD Many towns have a food bank. Children enjoy choosing items of food to donate. A box of macaroni and cheese purchased with money earned is a heart-felt gift! MITTEN TREE A mitten tree is a Christmas tree where people can hang mittens, hats and gloves for people in need. Your family or group can set up a mitten tree at a church, school or community center and deliver the items to a local homeless shelter. Real life: A church in Greenford, Ohio read The Sparkle Box to its congregation, and with a shared goal of sponsoring clean water filters and food boxes, used Sparkle Boxes to collect over $270,000. The congregation gathered together and packed food boxes which were shipped directly to Haiti. 20 MTL Magazine / www.mtlmagazine.com Hand Ups There are several organizations that focus on giving people in need a hand up to overcome poverty. You can purchase a heifer, goats, ducks and other animals that provide nourishment and the opportunity to earn income. Visit Heifer International at heifer.org to see how the gift of an animal can make a lasting change in someone’s life. Real life: Children in Nome, Alaska decided they wanted to buy a water buffalo for s