Christmas is just around the corner, and as much as you want to just enjoy Thanksgiving first, it’s hard to ignore since every store is donned with Christmas decorations and gifts galore. A holiday that seems to revolve around gift giving, we are faced with the option to give blindly or ask the question of what our giving does. How do we give in an empowering way? Our church has been asking that question for the past few years. A couple of years ago, we did Operation Christmas Child. Although it’s a great cause, the following year we decided we wanted to do something close to our community. We used the same model and called it Operation Christmas Chamblee for the local kids in lower income communities. As a result, through knowing the families we were working with, we soon realized that although parents wanted their children to receive Christmas gifts, they were ashamed that they were not the ones providing them.
This year we wanted to be a part of the Good Neighbor Christmas Market, started by our friends at Refugee Arts and South Atlanta Market Place. Giving to the Good Neighbor Christmas Market is unique because your gifts this Christmas season are 3 gifts in 1 for families we work with:
- The gift of a present for a child
- The gift of pride for a parent who gets to provide for his or her family
- The gift of jobs for 5 residents of the South Atlanta community, which suffers from 40% unemployment
We had a lot of fun shopping for toys that our former selves would have liked.
The goal is to support 1000 families and we are still in need of a couple more drives and donations. Here are ways to get involved below.
- Host a Toy Party at your church, business, school, or home. Ask people to bring a toy as entry to the event and donate the toys to the Good Neighbor Christmas Market . This is a simple, easy, and effective way to support our program this year.
- Host a drive at your church, business, or school. Have your company match whatever the employees give! A great way to double the effort for the Good Neighbor Christmas Market.
- Donate monetarily. All donations will go directly to purchasing gifts to stock the store. $5000 provides for 100 families, $2500 for 50 families, $1000 for 20 families, $500 for 10 families.
- Buy toys on Amazon and have them shipped directly to the store. Go through our wish list and up to 5% of the total will come back to the store from Amazon.
Also, if you want to read more about the importance of responsible and conscious giving, check out Toxic Charity. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!
P.S. Sorry, Ian, you’re a much better writer, so I used a lot of the same wording from the e-mail.