Fall is upon us, which is the window to American indulgence and celebration. You can do this the right way, or you can do this the wrong way.
I personally love this season – it’s always been my favorite. And my absolute favorite holiday of all times is Thanksgiving. I love being grateful for what we have. One of the best ways to show gratitude is to give to others. An even better way to do this, is to do it all year long, and ask others to do it with you! Make it easy for them to begin.
Some things we’re doing this year include Operation Christmas Child and AnySoldier.com. Both are fun and meaningful! I post these pictures not to pat myself on the back… just to show you some easy ideas that you can do this Fall season.
Operation Christmas Child
I love shopping for my children, and thinking of the joy I will bring to their little faces. We really make an effort to be conservative. I’ve tried to limit our purchases to “Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.” Not every mother can do this for their child, much less provide even basic needs. I enjoyed taking my children today to the store, to get them thinking about bringing that same joy to other children. I explained how these other children may not live like we live… they may not be able to learn how to read, have lamps that work at night, or dinners to eat.
This makes more sense to my children, because it falls on the heels of The Compassion Experience. My older son, who’s not quite 5 years old, was really impacted by The Compassion Experience – he just mentioned the two children whose story we saw yesterday, which was about two weeks after we went through their stories.
For Operation Christmas Child, we packed some toys, school supplies, clothing, hygiene items and reusable plasticware. Honestly, there’s no way this will fit in a shoe box. We will need to probably split it up into more boxes. I’ll have my children draw pictures for the boxes, and my older son dictate a Christmas message to them.
Here are some ideas for you.
This draw string backpack is large, probably the size of a regular back pack, and it’s stuffed to the brim. What we have pictured above can easily be split into 3 or 4 different boxes. I am going to ask my local Operation Christmas Child gurus the best way to split what we got. Your local church, or even the online website can supply you with boxes if you don’t have shoe boxes. And I learned if you want to follow your box, you can. If you don’t have time to shop, do it online. It’s been made so easy now!
Supporting the Troops
The second way we are giving back this Fall is to support a soldier. On AnySoldier.com, you can either send a care package generically, or use their search tool to send something specifically to someone of your choosing. We chose to send food and a deck of cards for the Air Force gal we chose for AnySoldier.com. But we will also include a personal card for her, and a self-addressed envelope so she can write us to tell us what she needs if she chooses.
We all sleep in comfortable beds with pillows at night, and for the most part, eat three square meals a day. Our soldiers don’t necessarily have that opportunity. This is one small way we can show them we are thankful for their service and for our freedom. They give their lives for us – literally, but also they give their own autonomy and freedom up for us to serve the greater good. Let’s show up, America.