As I was growing up, my parents demonstrated a strong example of helping others and looking for ways that we could assist in the community. For many Christmases, my extended family has chosen a charity and donated to them. We've given blankets to firefighters, made baby kits to send overseas, collected things for teen moms, given money to drill wells and this year are making thermal mugs of joy. It's a favourite part of our celebration!
Last year my sister and some of her family helped Santa's Anonymous deliver toys in the city. The stories they shared made me want to participate so yesterday we met up and three of us spent a few hours taking bags of toys to registered families.
We signed in and stuffed 10 bags from the warehouse into our car. What a huge amount of organization goes in to sorting, wrapping, labelling and bagging before the volunteer drivers appear!
Then we drove around the snowy streets looking for the addresses on the bag labels -
and carried the bags into each family.
Every single family was home so we could leave their gifts for the children to enjoy this year. (If they aren't home, the bags go back to the depot and they try to deliver again the next day.)
Here the 3 of us are with the last bag!
It was a marvelous experience! I think some of the families have moved here from other countries and they were all so, so appreciative of this bag of cheer for their children. Some of the little ones came dancing down the hallway out of their apartments, so excited to see the delivery. I asked little C if she thought they'd save the gifts until Christmas Day and we both agreed that we wouldn't be able to wait! I'd want to rip right into that bag and see what was there!
When I saw all the volunteers at the warehouse, helping with parking, hauling bags to cars (lots of hockey teams helping as porters), recording the bags taken, preparing maps, driving around the city and making Christmas fun for more families, I know I saw Jesus yesterday.