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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Operation Christmas Backpack

Operation Christmas Backpack

Last year my family and I began a new Christmas tradition.  Before opening our gifts, we distributed blankets (wrapped in Christmas paper) and containers full of home-baked cookies to people who were homeless.  My desire for our family was to turn away from all of the commercialism and materialism this holiday tends to bring and instead focus on what Christ calls us to do - to bless others.  As a family we wanted to offer a gift to those who might not otherwise receive a gift on this special day - the day that we celebrate the greatest gift of all - the birth of Jesus.

Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011 - We included a Bible verse in each container of cookies.

After sharing this story with several families from my homeschool group, I learned that this was something that had been on their hearts as well.  We discussed it with the rest of our members and Operation Christmas Backpack was formed.  

One of our members ordered backpacks which we each filled with items we felt would be most useful to someone living on the streets.  My heart is filled with joy knowing that because of these wonderful families deciding to join us this Christmas in our effort to bless others with Christmas gifts of their own, we will be able to bless 40 individuals!

Some of the items we included in each backpack were:
  • Bible
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Socks
  • Scarf
  • Underwear
  • Blanket
  • Deodorant
  • Gatorade
  • Hand Wipes
  • Candle/Lighter (to offer them some warmth)
  • Chapstick
  • Hand Warmers
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste (donated by orthodontist Dr. Jeffrey Weil)
  • Snack and bakery items (generously donated by Costco Wholesale and Buehler's
  • Comb
What a great gift in itself it would be if Operation Christmas Backpack were to be offered all over the U.S.  If this is something that speaks to your heart as well, consider starting an Operation Christmas Backpack in your community.  If you do, I'd love to hear about it!

NoteI am pleased to share that this has led to our homeschool group's newly created outreach program where we will be participating in various volunteer type activities on a quarterly basis.  

Merry Christmas! 

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