Week 2 – Light Your Community
I hope you and your family found some time and ways to Light the World this past week! Hopefully, you found some joy serving and giving together.
The Savior said: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Mark 12:31) Let’s reach out this week and love our neighbor(hood).
This week, the focus is to Light Your Community. Now, my definition of “community” is any place that affects my life personally. You can decide what that means for you. That could mean your city or town, your state, your church, your school, your neighborhood, or whatever you decide it is. So, the challenge is to find ways to serve within your community in some way.
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This week, our family discovered a new Christmas book about serving in your community. The book is called The Carpenter’s Gift. It’s a touching story about paying it forward. When I say “touching”, I mean that my daughter was crying every other page while trying to read it to us! Ha ha! It centers around the giant Christmas tree at Rockerfeller’s Center in NY and Habitat for Humanity.
We add a new Christmas book to our collection every year, and this year, The Carpenter’s Gift was that addition. We fell in LOVE with this book! You can take a sneak peek of it on Amazon by clicking on the book cover below.
So. . .
I put together some ideas on how you and your family can help Light Your Community. Again, I added links where I could. Here are 10 quick suggestions to start your brainstorming. You can try serving in one of these ways, or well. . .be inspired to give or serve in your own way.
Would you like access to our Light the World
Click here for access to all our 2018 printables for some Christmas inspiration!
Here are some ideas for Week 2:
Light Your Community – Monday, Dec. 10th
- Just Serve.org – This is a great website where you create a free account, put in your zip code, and it will populate with tons of ideas on actual things in your own community where you can serve. Whether you have a few days or just an hour, there are ideas to fit every schedule.
- Angel trees/Giving Trees – Many schools, banks, stores and churches often will sponsor a tree with names and way to give to those people for the Christmas season. If you can’t find one, just do a Google search for “angel trees near me.”
- Donate to a Food bank or serve at a soup kitchen – there are usually age requirements for working in the soup kitchens. So be aware of that if you are serving with kids.
- You can volunteer with Meals on Wheels. One great way to serve with your children or grandchildren is to make cards that go to the recipients of the meals. You can just get out the markers and scrapbook paper and write some notes to those who are in need of some encouragement.
- Check your local Children’s hospital for volunteer opportunities.
- Serve at a local animal shelter and help some furry friends in your community – the kids LOVE this one! They get to pet or even walk the animals in the shelter.
- Reach out to a neighbor in need – help a single mother with her kids, take a treat & visit an elderly neighbor, shovel a neighbor’s driveway, etc. There are probably many, many ways to serve without even leaving your neighborhood!
- Let’s talk about the Salvation Army bell ringers and little red buckets – instead of feeling guilty every time you pass them, put money in!! I carry lots of $1 dollar bills and quarters at Christmas to put into those buckets. I used to avoid eye contact because I never had cash with me. Well. . .get rid of the guilt! Carry just a little bit of cash and put in one dollar or a few quarters each time you pass them. You will be doing some good and you’ll feel great about it! Voila. . .no more guilt!
- Read to kids at your kids/grandkids school or a school in your area.
- Create humanitarian kits for the homeless and donate them.
So, there is one more. . .
I need to share with you a cause that is quickly becoming super special to me. It’s a website called: The World Needs More Love Letters. The girl who started this had some serious disappointment and discouragement in her life. One thing that kept her going was the fact that her mother put little love notes tucked in places she would find all during her growing up. she had no idea just how much that would affect her life.
Her name is Hannah Brencher. She found herself living in NYC when she was a young adult alone and disconnected. So, she began writing down her doubts, hopes and daily thoughts into letters. This led to her writing notes and leaving them all over Manhattan for people to find. She left them in library books, doctor’s offices, coffee shops and the like. On the envelope, it read: If you find this letter, it is for you.
She tells her remarkable story of helping and healing (mostly for herself at first) in a book called If You Find This Letter.”
Now she runs this website where she invites people to send her stories of people who need encouraging words or letters of love. People like you and I can read their stories and write “love letters” to them. The letters are collected and delivered all together in a bundle.
Right now, Heather is doing a sort of 12 Days of Christmas to 12 specific people who need “love letters.” I would encourage you to read about it on her blog here and write at least one letter to one person from her list. The letters need to be postmarked by December 20th. Honestly, can you share a few words of encouragement with someone? How much time would that really take?
Follow Your Heart. . .
There are so many, many more that I could think of, but I didn’t want the list to get too long. Just get out this week and Give as He gave in your own community.
Remember to keep Christ in Christmas, and share the love of our Savior with others as we get one week closer to this beautiful holiday. Again, please share with us what you are doing on our Facebook page or in the comments below.
Cookies & Milk for Everyone!
P.S. If you missed out on last week’s challenge, check out our suggestions for Lighting the World.