Friday, November 16, 2012

31 Days to a Stress Free Holiday Season - Day 20

Yesterday I shared some great charities that we feel led to give to. They all serve different purposes but are all doing God's work of sharing love with those in need. Most of these charities we give money or things to but we never get to see the recipient up close and personal. Well today I'm going to share with you my favorite thing we do at Christmas time - Homeless Bags!!!

As a family we started this tradition about 4 years ago. It started as 5 small bags we always kept in our car in case we ran into someone on the streets that was asking for help and has blossomed into a great Christmas tradition for our family. It has been such a blessing to us that I don't see it going by the wayside anytime soon!!!!

We all load up and head to Dollar Tree and pack baskets and baskets full of items to fill our bags. Snacks, drinks, gloves, toiletries, cards, Bibles, travel mugs, soup packets, cookies, socks, hand warmers, shirts, hats, popcorn, and so many other wonderfully fun things.

Then in assembly line style we all work together to fill the bags to the brim!! It's chaotic but so much fun!! Then after we are stuffed to the bursting point with Christmas Dinner, we head out to our city's downtown area and scout out people in need.

Over the years we have really refined our system of who we give them too. It's interesting to see us all debating if someone is walking home from work, heading to get some food, or is truly living on the street. Every year the bags seem to get bigger (last year we had duffle sized bags - maybe a little too much).

We love taking our children with us so they can see first hand the people that we are helping. It has really helped them think about how blessed we truly are and how wonderful it is to share with others!!!

Do you have any giving traditions that you do as a family??

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