Tis the Season to Give as much as it is to receive!
Christmas time is a wonderful time of year for many people, especially children. What a magical time to receive gifts, see Santa, perform in Christmas pageants and choirs, have parties at school with friends, and gather with family. It’s time off school to celebrate the season enjoy the year. However, for some families this can be a stressful time of year as well. Some families in your community struggle to put enough food on the table for meals or to provide adequate clothing to keep their children warm in the cold months, let alone save extra money for presents. The stress can be very hard to deal with as an adult but as a child who longs for the fun and spirit of Christmas it can be even harder.

For some of us, as we choose what to get our children, we debate on what present might bring the most joy, the biggest excitement, and last for years to come for that special memory. One thing that I have started doing each year with my own children is to teach them how rewarding it can be to give to people less fortunate than yourself. Outside of praying for those families, we also do some things to teach how the spirit of giving can be just as exciting as receiving.

Every fall we go through their toys and find things that are very gently used and donate them to a homeless shelter or a local toy drive for children. We also purchase things for a family in need of of our church’s Christmas Giving Tree. We donate new infant clothes to Birthline and call it “Presents for Baby Jesus.” This giving and sharing part of our lives helps us kick off the Christmas Season. My children talk about the things they loved about the toys they are giving away, or they pick items they like to give to the family from the Giving Tree. They really enjoy picking outfits for Baby Jesus. They participate in canned food drives at school and make a conscious effort to put some of their own money in the Red Kettle for the Salvation Army each year.

Take the opportunity this Christmas season to teach your children the spirit of giving by donating to local food banks, giving trees at stores and churches, if you are able adopt a family at Christmas and provide Christmas gifts for their families that is a very personal way to share your love and joy and teach your child how important it is to love and give during this season and all year.

Here is a list of some great places you can donate to during the holidays, and many of them will accept donations year round.
Gleaners food bank 
Indianapolis Area: (317) 925-0191
Outside Indianapolis: (800) 944-9166
Receiving Contact Phone #: (317) 829-1778

 

Salvation Army
Be a bell ringer this Holiday Season

 

Wheeler Mission 

Birthline Phone: (317) 635-4808
http://www.archindy.org/humanlifeanddignity/ministries-birthline.html

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Jennifer E. is the Regional Director of Finding Me Now