Over the next few weeks I am going to be doing a bunch of posts on homemade and money saving gift ideas, things we are doing or have done in the past. We have five kids and not a lot of money, but even if we did, I don't think I would be throwing a bunch of money around and teaching our kids that Christmas is about Santa Claus bringing you video games. It should be focused on GIVING not GETTING.
Today I'd like to share what we do for "neighbor treats." The note we are sending to all our friends and neighbors starts out like this:
We LOVE you!
But once again, we have sent
your Christmas treat
Why? Because I rediscovered a good friend from high school through Face Book a few years ago, and her story is truly amazing. After many childless years with her wonderful husband, they decided to go looking for their children. They found them: four in Kazakhstan, and one in Kyrgyzstan. If you would like to learn more about this wonderful family, please visit their blog at: http://lajoyfamily.blogspot.com/.
Last year Cindy volunteered to take a pie in the face if people contributed $500 to a fundraiser to send much needed supplies to the orphanage where their third son was adopted. And for each additional $100, her husband and kids would get pied as well. Needless to say, I was happy to help Cindy enjoy some pie. Enough was donated for ALL to enjoy some pie. For the past few years, we've been donating our budget for neighbor treats to charities. It's hard to spend all that time and money on creating little plates or bags of treats (and then trying to deliver them all), when all around us there are people whose situations are sometimes quite desperate. Before last year, we had donated to the local food bank. Last year we donated to Cindy's charity. This year we are blessed to be able to do both.
And I challenge you to do the same.
Don't bring me a treat. I don't need it anyway, I'm trying to lose weight. Cut back in some very small way, and find someone who needs that small bit more than you do. If you are interested in our little orphanage project, you can go here to donate: http://actofkindness.blogspot.com/p/pie-in-face-for-orphans.html (they even sent a statement the following January so we could declare the donation on our taxes). As you can see on the site, Cindy and Company are assured their pies again this year. Pick someone else on the list if you'd like to make sure the pies are evenly distributed, or we can just continue to gang up on the La Joy clan. If your inclination is to donate elsewhere, PLEASE do, there are SO MANY organizations out there looking for help, even in your own community. A donation of even $5 in the right hands can do great things. If you can't donate monitarily, find somewhere you can serve.
Alma 37:6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass;
In this season where we celebrate Thanksgiving for the many blessings we have, and the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, may we reach out to those less fortunate. Let us lend a hand in fellowship and love to our brothers and sisters, wherever they may be.