I was so busy during December with over 180 deliveries for our Angel Tree and Family Basket program that I didn't really blog about the experience. I had never really organized anything like that; it was really consuming with hundreds of phone calls, e-mails, and deliveries. The planning began back in October, and I had churches contacting me before Halloween to ask if they could sponsor children. It's always nice to be reminded of how much people want to help others.
Some of the donors dropped off presents, while others chose to go with us to deliver the presents and baskets to the families. It was awesome to see how so many people took time out during such a busy time of year to shop for children and families they don't know and to see the excitement on people's faces when they received presents from strangers. It's also been nice that some of the children now associate me with receiving presents and are therefore extra nice:)
One of my favorite stories from our deliveries involved a donor family who went with me to deliver gifts to their adopted angel. The donor family picked me up in a car that had seen better days. Their children’s car seats were quite worn, and everyone was dressed very modestly. In appearance at least, they seemed to be faring worse than some of our students. Through our conversation I learned that the father had lost his job and had been unable to find work for months, and as a result the family had been struggling financially. Despite their hardships the family had vowed that no matter what they would adopt a child this year as they always had. The father commented that the Lord had given them so much that it was the least they could do. After we dropped off the gifts and were back in their car, the father stopped the car and went back inside to tell the mother which package contained a coat. He thought the little boy might need that gift before Christmas. I loved seeing his concern for the warmth of the little boy he had just met and am so touched by that family’s generosity. It makes me think of the belief that generosity is measured more by what I have left than what I give; and this family’s gratitude and giving challenges me to give away more of myself in the new year.
p.s. I'm grateful for the way others teach me about how to love and give.