Each year I pray for God to place someone or something on my heart for the holidays... This year I kept thinking and praying --- some years we sponsor a kid for Christmas, or a family, or a single mom.. Some years we just give money to organizations, or take dinner to someone or work in a soup kitchen, but this year God kept inching me somewhere else....and I feel Him saying:
"I am putting all your friends on your heart this year. I want you to encourage them to serve, to give, to spend time helping others in the community. Ask people to commit to something, encourage people, show them opportunities. I can use you to help one person or family, or I can use you to motivate several to do the same... So get going."
So, here is my Christmas wish this year: that all of my friends would commit to doing something they have never done for someone or something that they may have never felt comfortable with before.
- Sponsor a family through Single Parent Scholarship, or just a single mama - 479-254-8550 ask for Karen
- Bless a teenager with Christmas presents through the Teen Action and Support Center - 479.636.8272 ask for Chloe
- Donate a vehicle to Havenwood for their moms and babies to use in emergencies - 479.273.1060 ask for Jackie
- Take a sack of groceries to Samaritan Community Center - 479.636.4198 ask for Shannon
- Go meet your elderly neighbors and invite them to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner
- Buy a winter coat and take it to any elementary school in the area - I promise there is a kid who needs it!!!
- Buy some laundry detergent and donate it to Cobblestone Project to help wash our homeless or hurting neighbors so they can have clean clothes - email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Go volunteer in the soup kitchen/cafe one Saturday at Samaritan - call Laura 636-4198
- Become a mentor for a young lady at Saving Grace or just volunteer to cook for them sometime - 479.636.1133 ask for Becky
- Grab an angel off the tree at any local Walmart
- Become a voice for a child in foster care through CASA - call Dianne at 725-2213
- Give money to any non-profit in NWA, even $1 helps.
- Donate a suitcase or pajamas to kids in foster care through The Call - email Ann at email@example.com
- Sponsor a horse out at Autumn's ReRide (therapeautic ranch for kiddos at-risk) or go volunteer there - email Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Setup a time to go and read to kids at a local Headstart in your town. They LOVE people to come read to them
- Host an international student into your home for the holidays (when the dorms close they have nowhere to go) - call the U of A at 575-2000 and ask for their International Students Counselor
- Pick someone at your job or church who you know is struggling and just give them a card with cash (even better -- make it anonymous)
- Cook a meal for your local Fire Department. Those firefighters serve for 24 hours for days at a time and practically live at the fire station - they always would welcome a home-cooked meal
- Grab a package of diapers at Walmart and take it up to the Bentonville High School Building Bridges for their teen mothers who are working hard to graduate
- Call 7 Hills Homeless Center and find out what you can do to help the homeless this winter (their needs change often) but things like blankets, socks, etc. are so crucial this time of year - call Jon at 251-7776
- "Adopt" a widow at work or church and write them encouraging cards this year.
- Buy tickets for a family that has never been to the movies or to the Walton Arts Center or to a Razorback basketball game and just bless them with it
- Offer to babysit for someone and do NOT charge them
- Take someone a Christmas tree who isn't in the Christmas spirit
- Go volunteer at a local hospital the week of Christmas (no one wants to be there that week)
- Take Christmas cards to a local nursing home and spend time in conversation with some residents there (you may be the only family or smiles they see)
The list goes on and on... It does not matter who you are, what mistakes you have made, how much money you have, YOU have something to give to someone. BLESS someone this year with the gift of yourself.