Blessings to everyone that made our Thanksgiving project a great success.  Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the efforts of many, many volunteers, we were able to provide 93 families with huge baskets containing all the fixings for a full Thanksgiving dinner for their families.  We even encouraged our guests to have a few friends or family members join them to share in their feast.  By the looks of the baskets, I’m sure they’ll even enjoy leftovers for a few days.  As usual, we had great participation from our area youth –  St Mary School, St Mark School and UNCW all donated huge numbers of  baskets.

Next, we are starting work on our Christmas projects.  We’ll be providing a full Christmas to about 30+ families:  new clothes and gifts for all the children, a gift for the parents and a basket of food for a full holiday dinner.  Each year, we select new families that we have never helped at Christmas.    I personally interview the recipients and help them compile suggestions for appropriate gifts.  We gather the presents in several ways.  We have donors that adopt a family (or families) and provide all the clothes, gift items and food for the particular family.  Each classroom in our school adopts one child and gathers everything for them.

Another opportunity to participate is through our “Giving Tree” which was installed in the vestibule of Church this weekend.  Sister Isaac named this project years ago, inspired by Shel Silverstein’s book.  For some families,  we break their wish list down to single items for each person.  We create a “leaf” for each item and list the child’s name and age along with a description of the item they’d like;  for instance “a baby doll for (child’s name and age)”  or  “size large shirt for a boy (child’s name and age)” . We hang several of these leaves for each child.  We also include some leaves requesting several monetary donations toward more expensive gifts;  for instance, a leaf may say  “$10 toward dinner for (person’s name) family” ,  or “$10 toward a set of pots and pans for (person’s name)”.  We have personal shoppers that will use these funds to purchase these items.

The gifts can be brought to church on a subsequent weekend, or dropped off at the Sister Isaac Center or the Church office during the week.  We ask that you include the ‘leaf’ with the gift so we can be sure it’s given to the appropriate family.  The gifts should not be wrapped;  we let the moms get involved wrapping the gifts so they can participate in the giving.  We need all the gifts turned in by December 17 so we can organize everything for distribution on December 21.

Please contact my office  (x135)  if you are interested in participating and have any questions.  Next week, I’ll explain our Shoebox project for the elderly and our Christmas Room.

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Special Need of the Week:   Thank you for holding your donations while we were closed this past week.  Our Center is open again for donations from now until December 14 when we close in preparation for Christmas.