We are, once again, going to try to provide Christmas for several families on the Tohono O'odham Reservation, the Gila River Reservation, and to new refugee families living in Phoenix!! Last year was such a huge success, and we want to thank those that participated. Out of all the things (activities, events, etc) that we have done since living here, this is are favorite thing to do hands down. It is such a joy to see a child's face light up when they see that someone cared enough about them to get them specific presents that they need!
We are once again sponsoring children from 3 villages on the Tohono O'odham Reservation: Chuichu, Cockleburr, and Kohatk, and we will also have several children that need sponsorships in Sacaton!! We are adding several families this year from Phoenix!!! The families are originally from Congo (the country our daughter is from) and are new to the United States, as they have just moved here in 2014 as refugees. We are expecting to be able to provide Christmas (with your help of course) to 150-200 children. For many of these children, the presents that they get through this ministry will be the only presents that they receive.
Please do not miss out on this opportunity to be involved in a child's life this Christmas!!!!!
Here's what you need to do to get involved:
1. Contact us either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on facebook or by phone to let us know how many children you would like to provide Christmas for. Please pass this along to your church, small group, youth group, etc. We have at least 150 kids that we need to provide for.
2. After we hear from you, we will email you a list of things you should know specific to the child. We have already passed out forms for the families to fill out. You will know specific details such as age of the child, size of clothes and shoes, specific interests or toys that the child likes, and anything they are in need of.
3. Then you may either shop and buy the presents or send us the money that you would like to put forth for the presents. We give this option because we know that everyone is different in how they like to do things. We know that some people love to actually pick out the presents themselves (it feels more real this way and like they are apart of your family), but we also know that some people live across the country and prefer not to spend the money on shipping the presents to us. Although the majority of people chose to actually buy the presents and send them last year, we still had about 20 that chose to just send the money and let us do the buying. This is completely up to you and your family/church/Sunday school class/small group. Either way you choose will be appreciated!!!
4. We don't really give a certain amount of money that you have to spend, but we ask that you at least get the child some clothes and at least one thing that is fun or that they are interested in. I would say the majority of people spend around $50 per child. If you want to do more, that is fine. We just ask that you don't go overboard. Most children will have brothers and sisters and we don't want one child to have an Xbox and the other child to get a book. Does that make sense?
Also, it seems silly to have to say this, but please make sure the presents that you send are NEW. Our goal in providing the children Christmas presents is not just so they have something to open up on Christmas morning. Our goal is to share Christ with them and their families. We make contact with many families during this Christmas ministry that we otherwise would not be able to. If we give them hand-me-downs or used presents for Christmas, the message we send is that they are not worth our best. We want them to feel like they are apart of our family. We want them to know that they are valued and loved. We want them to know that God sent his best- His Son Jesus to earth in the form of a human to be born and live and ultimately die for us and them. We want them to understand that the reason we love them and buy them presents for Christmas is because of the overflow of love we have for them because of the love God has for us. We want them to know Jesus too!!!
5. The deadline for sending us money or presents is Saturday, December 6. This means that we need them at our house by this date. Please do not mail them on this date. We need at least a week to sort through all the presents, purchase those that have sent the money, wrap the presents, etc. before we hand them out. Our address is: PO Box 2237, Sacaton, AZ 85147. If you would like to use UPS or FedEx please get in contact with us for our physical address.
6. Please fill free to send cards or letters to the child as well. You don't have to do this, but I think the child and family would enjoy it.
7. Several people asked last year if they could also send something that could be for the whole family to enjoy. Of course you can! This is not something that you have to do, but feel free if you would like.
After all the presents are in and sorted and wrapped, we will have a special service in each of the villages/locations the week of December 15-19. Each village/location will have their own night. This year we are going to have a church service to share the true meaning of Chrismas, and then pass out the presents to each child. I promise to take lots of pictures and try to capture what it was like to be there.
*****You may choose to send the presents to us wrapped or unwrapped this year. If you choose to wrap them, please include a list of items that the child will receive. This will help us when we sort them into families to make sure each child in the family gets about the equal amount and quality. Also, when labeling presents, please just write the child's name. It is not necessary to write who the present is from.*****
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in contact with us.
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing God be glorified through you this Christmas!