Think Outside the Gift Box This Christmas

Give a helping hand–it’s more fun that you might imagine.

Well, folks, we’re in the homestretch. It’s now less than 30 days until Christmas. What have you…done this season to help those less fortunate?

That’s right. I’m not asking if you’ve gotten all your shopping done, or have the tree up, or the baking finished–which are all things that can bog us down. I’m asking you to look outside your front door, and see if there are those you can help this season.

Help doesn’t have to mean money. Taking a little bit of time to do service in your community can be a transforming experience. Consider helping at a collection center for food, toys, or other items for folks in need. It’s sure easy to drop off something at those collection points, but it can become overwhelming for the staff to divvy it all up among recipients. Around this time of year, many folks help at community feeding centers, by cooking meals, donating food or supplies, or working on the service line.

See what projects are underway at your church or company. Right now at Lehman’s, we’re getting ready for the food collection, our community help project–and we’re grateful for the coordination provided by catalog artist and photographer Shelley Salsburey, who’s  coordinating the project again this year.

It’s not hard to find places where you can be of help. It’ll be an experience that you–and the folks you help–won’t forget. Once you see how much of a difference you can make, you’ll be hooked–and you’ll want to help more than once a year.

Where to Help

  • Many community newspapers publish “Adopt A Family” notices during the holiday season. Check and see if your community paper does this.
  • Churches, schools and community aid groups often have lists of those in need. If you’d like to help specific families, these are good bets for contact information.
  • Check with nationwide and worldwide service organizations like Mennonite Disaster Service ( for service and care projects in your community.
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