Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giving Back- our family's holiday giving plans

Our family has a favorite "pet" charity in our hometown, the Hope House .  Hope House is a small organization, run out of an old rectory on one of our town's Catholic Churches.   It is a simple "business" plan, they take in donations from parishioners and community members, and distribute the items during certain hours, allowing individuals to "shop" for free for what they need.  This includes clothing, household goods, and basic toiletries and food.

My daughter and I started volunteering at the Hope House after driving by it each day and first becoming donors, purchasing items on their "most needed" list on their outside whiteboard.  We eventually started volunteering one Saturday a month, sorting and organizing goods.  This past Friday, we were back at Hope House sorting, and my little girl made it three straight hours sorting out the books and toys...I'm so proud of her.

So this year, for the holidays, we are adopting a family identified by Hope House for Christmas.  We will get to purchase gifts for another father, mother and a five year old girl, and I'm looking forward to letting my daughter be involved heavily in the process to help keep her focus off of only"what I want from Santa."

Through my employer, we also "adopt" the children of parents in one of the Drug Courts, and will be able to provide them with small gifts, and a party with Santa to allow the parents and children some special and happy time together (many of the kids are still in foster or relative care while their parents work on chemical dependency issues).

I'm looking forward to the shopping, wrapping and praying for the recipients of our gifts, and hope that they are able to see the love of Christ through our anonymous actions.

What are you doing this year to "give back" with your kids and set the giving back example?

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