Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Challenge to You!!

A couple of years ago my sister, Kelly, shared with me that she and her family had bought some bicycles and gone into a low income neighborhood and given them to the first couple of children they saw. It was just before Christmas and they wanted to bless children who may not be receiving any gifts. I was shocked when she told me which neighborhood they had chosen to go in to. At the time, I was working in the mayor's office, directly with the police department. I knew very well that they had gone into the most unsafe neighborhood with the highest murder rate, in all of Tulsa.

She took pictures of her children giving the bicycles to the other children and standing with their arms around them. It touched my heart so deeply. They have done this a couple of years since then and they always feel like they are the ones who get blessed!

I always felt bad because I couldn't afford to go buy new bikes to give, but I realized that there are so many other things that I could afford to do. I began to think about the many different ways a person could choose to be a blessing to others. One year, the leader of my women's Bible study organized a group of us and we painted the bedrooms of the local women's and children's shelter. We also collected toiletries, shoes and clothes for the women and their children.

Our house is always bustling and full of people. I've decided that from now on I am going to ask that when friends come for a meal or visit, they bring items for the Tulsa Food Bank or a blanket for the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless. Just last month, my family took a car full of clothes, toys and games to the Tulsa Women's and Children's Center.

I'm not saying all of this to brag, because it is really not a hard thing to do. It is easy and inexpensive and rewarding. It's not something that would make you think, "Wow, she did all that"! It took a tiny little bit of extra effort and time...and that's all.

My challenge to you would be this; there is plenty of time until the holidays, plenty of time to plan. Think of a few things that you and your family and friends could do that would bless someone who really needs it. I'm going to list a few ideas and feel free to comment with other things that could be done. I will add those to the list as you submit them.

Let's purpose in our hearts to not be upset that this Christmas may be a bit lean for us this year, but know that there are others for whom it will be a dark and depressing time. Take joy in the thought that you can be a ray of hope and light for someone who may be struggling just to get through the next day. Remember, be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Here's the start of a list and I hope that you add to it! Leave a comment with your ideas and I will add them to the list! Also, I usually add pictures to go along with my posts. I'm not going to add any this time. If you would like to contribute a photo of you or your family or group, blessing someone else, I would be honored to add it. Just contact me and let me know. My email address is fatherschild@sbcglobal.net.

1. Collect blankets for the homeless.
2. Collect coats for children in low income schools.
3. Collect food for local food banks.
4. Collect toiletry items, clothes, toys or games for local shelters.
5. Become a big brother or big sister...even if it's with a single friend's child.
6. Organize a day to have a car clinic for single moms.
7. If you have a friend who works alot, offer to clean their home.
8. Invite someone for dinner on Thanksgiving or Christmas who has no where to go.
9. Drop in and visit elderly neighbors and make sure their heater is working.
10. Have a garage sale with a charity getting the proceeds.

11. Penny donated work clothes to families who had had a fire.
11. Michele and her family sponsor a family in the community.
12. Anonymous carries umbrellas in their car and gives them to people when it's raining and tells them that Jesus love them!!!

6 comments:

  1. That sounds like a wonderful idea. Thank you.

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  2. Erin,
    You are such a wonderful and loving woman!!
    I think your ideas are GREAT! I hope that my life will slow down very soon and I would like to help you on this wonderful adventure and put love and hope in peoples lives....
    I love you!
    your pal,
    t

    ReplyDelete
  3. Last week I took 16 very large bags of clothes, shoes, and misc. items to the Salvation Army. There have been several house fires in the area and alot of these clothes were dress clothes for work. I could have had a yard sale, Lord knows the money could be used, but I felt better about doing this in stead.

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  4. I would love to donate my time and go to the homeless shelters and help serve food to them. I would love for my children to see that they are so extremely blessed in this life. My kids were so touched by the children they gave the bikes to. They will never forget those experiences. It was hard for them to realize people live like that and really can't afford a new bike. But you know what really touched my heart was that my kids had no judgement in their little hearts. They went right up to them and put their arms around them and took pictures with them. They had tears in their eyes and a softness in their hearts for them. It was at that moment that a mom feels like she did something right in raising her children. To see the compassion in my kids heart was overwhelming for me. I love to try and do something each year and involve my whole family. It is such a blessing to us. I have lived my whole life wanting to bless people and I have to say that God has blessed me so much that I have had so many opportunities to bless others. I love that feeling, it just feels so rewaarding. In saying all that if you want to be blessed if nothing else than the feeling you get from it, do something for someone else this fall and holiday season. If I can do anything for anyone just let me know - I would love to be a blessing to you, even if it is just a hug, I am good at that!!!!

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  5. I carry umbrellas in my car and when its raining, I pull over and give them a umbrella and say JESUS LOVES YOU:)

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  6. I didn't realize we had so much in common, Erin. About the same time you were writing this, I was writing a post for my business blog titled Small Business Philanthropy. I have a large family and love the Lord as well. I read some of your other posts and felt they were similar to thoughts I've posed on my personal blog that I'm overdue updating by about 6 mos, so I won't share it with you just yet. Sweet family pics. I'm not too far from you, in Dallas. Stay in touch.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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