Earlier than ever, the holiday season is upon us. Let’s ignore the crass commercialism and focus on what’s important: honoring Christ, spreading joy, creating memories and giving gifts to loved ones.
What do the children in your life want for Christmas? I bet you already know.
Some kids this holiday will get many of the things they ask for. On the other hand, the reality is that some kids will ask for a single toy and their parents will feel a pang of sadness, knowing they won’t be able to provide it.
Unfortunately, many families today are struggling to just find a way to pay for the basics in life—food, housing and clothing—let alone the latest doll or video game or bike.
Seventeen years ago, my staff and I started Toys for Joy here in San Diego.
The goal wasn’t just to give out toys to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have any for Christmas. We wanted to help our neighbors see Christ in action.
Toys for Joy has grown each year, with more businesses and civic leaders coming on board as they see our consistency and commitment.
Last year at Toys for Joy, we were able to provide for free more than 10,000 toys, 14,000 bags of groceries and 196,000 articles of clothing and shoes to brighten the lives of many San Diego kids and to help our San Diego families who work hard every day just to make ends meet. These numbers will increase in 2013.
We’re grateful for all the financial and in-kind donations. But all that would be useless except for one thing: our Toys for Joy volunteers. They are the engine that makes this massive community event run. These amazing individuals experience the satisfaction of giving to those in need and continue to help make our vision of spreading pervasive hope throughout the community a reality.
We, in fact, have amazing ministries and events year-round because of our powerful and committed volunteers. There is tremendous firepower sitting in your church. I invite you to unleash it in your church!
Remember John 14:12? Jesus told his disciples, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” Those “greater works” are our ministries, including our community volunteering.
God has called us, equipped us and empowered us to do to great things. Let’s be the hands and feet of Christ through our volunteer efforts. Christmas is the perfect time to step up and sacrificially do those “greater works” so that Christ can be magnified.
This holiday, encourage your congregation to BE Christ in your community!
YOU, too, can make dreams come true for children and families in your community this Christmas!