My Take on Charity: FIRST STREET CHURCH Blog Hop

Charity should be a lifestyle if we’re patterning ourselves after Jesus Christ. Do I succeed in charitable living? Nope. Not at all.

As we get closer to Christmas, awareness for charities will rise. Does this mean we feel more charitable during November and December?

I doubt it. 

Especially when consumerism sticks decorations and the latest-greatest-gadgets under our noses as soon as they get the back-to-school shelves cleared.

In recent years, this marketing push has made me relegate thoughts of Christmas to the back burner until later and later in December.

And that makes me sad.

Because I truly believe the spirit of Christmas is giving. Back in Bethlehem on that first Christmas, God gave us His only son, born in human flesh and humbled with a manger as a crib. That Son grew up to give His life as payment for our sins, purchasing eternal salvation for us—a gift we could never have gained any other way.

But all the media focus on giving to others sounds like another marketing sales pitch.

Charitable Causes

Which doesn’t mean I don’t care about those charities or give to any.

In the past, the ladies from our church have filled shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. This is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse that focuses on getting essentials to children in third world countries.

It’s sobering to pack a toothbrush, toothpaste and soap alongside socks and a small stuffed animal. I can’t imagine my kids needing a new toothbrush for Christmas because they get them at their semi-annual dentist visits.

Oh, the things we take for granted in our First World society.

Our church chooses a missionary family to shower with Christmas gifts. We know the ages of his children and purchase gifts accordingly, being sure to include a package for the man and his wife, too. Everyone loves opening presents (don’t they? I sure do!) and that’s part of the excitement of Christmas morning.

If we can’t ship the food for a Christmas feast, we send a gift card to a grocery store close to his mission field. How many people don’t have a food or dessert they connect with their Christmas memories?

For my sons, it’s the sausage roll-ups I always made for Christmas morning. For me, it’s Russian teacakes. My sister loves the decorated sugar cookies.

Traditions are a huge aspect of Christmas, and we want our missionaries to enjoy building them.

Charity after Christmas

Christmas isn’t the only time for being charitable. Christians should demonstrate charity every day of their life.

A recent project our church began is a barbecue lunch for the first responders in our county. We make a simple lunch (pulled pork sandwiches and smoked chicken) and take it to the main fire station.

We box up lunches that someone volunteers to take out to the 911 call center and the outlying fire stations.

It’s such a small way to thank these men and women for choosing to serve our communities every day. In fact, they put themselves in harm’s way and don’t stop to think about it.

That deserves more than lunch and a thank you, I think.

Still, the small things make a big impact. They touch a person’s life and the impression stays with them.

Sure, you can offer a coat to keep away the winter chill (and should if you can). However, what about the frozen tundra of the heart that is abandoned and alone during a time of year when it looks like everyone else has family and friends to celebrate with?

Charity should reach from your heart to the heart of the person you’re helping. And sometimes, all it takes is to meet their eyes and smile.

Who can you thank for their service? Who can you help with a few simple hours of your time?

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62 thoughts on “My Take on Charity: FIRST STREET CHURCH Blog Hop

  1. I would love to donate to a charity but this year my kids and i won’t have a christmas due to us being in hiding with my new husband cause of the abuse my children and i suffered from my ex husband so we have to live off the grid kinda with only certain people knowing where we live. All my kids wanted for Christmas besides the normal kid stuff was for my husband to adopt them so we can be a family in name too. They thought when we got married that they would carry my husband’s last name we cried when I had to tell them that wasn’t true. Now they don’t think it will ever happen especially my mentally challenged daughters but i am trying to keep my chin up and to have faith but it is getting harder as we get closer to the holidays the only money i have is our SSI money to live off of. Sorry for telling this but I felt like no one here will yell at me for it like a lot of people do or they pass judgment with out knowing the whole story.

    1. I’m sad to hear about your situation. Sometime, God puts us in a place where WE become the ones who need charity. And that’s okay, because it teaches others to be more sensitive and aware. I pray your situation resolves. Thanks for sharing your story and reminding me that charity should begin with our neighbors.

  2. I think at this time of year too much emphasis is put on the commercial aspect of Christmas and we should all be concentrating on caring for each other and getting to know our neighbours .Instead of focussing on everyone’s differences, whether it be race , religion, colour or creed, we should be finding out what we all have in common like love for our families .

  3. I also truly believe the spirit of Christmas is giving. I think we feel more charitable during November and December! I donate to the food bank often, I also love to give to our city Christmas bureau.

  4. Wonderful . I have helped many in my life time
    But I found once I was in dire need of help ? No one would help me .

    1. Such a sad commentary on the people in your circle of influence. To me, it’s easier to give than to receive (and the Apostle Paul said it was more blessed to give than receive) but my experience has always been that what I gave came back to me when I had a need. I pray someone will step up to meet your needs. Thanks for stopping by today.

    1. Judy, I have tried to focus on Jesus more than the commercial aspects for the last several years. Society doesn’t make it easy to do, but greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. I appreciate you stopping by today.

  5. I took care of my Grandparents until their passing. It was always an honor to listen to my Grandfather talk about his days in the 82nd Airborne in WWII jumping on D Day and getting captured and what it was like surviving as a POW.

  6. My family works with the Evelyn Rivers toy run every year. I am always looking at the clearance toys and picking them up when I have the extra money. I also try to have a boy and girl angel each year. Our grocery stores have a food drive before Thanksgiving and Christmas each year and deliver to the ones who don’t have groceries. I know several churches that take plates around to the homeless. We have so many families with children who don’t have homes. I would ask for prayers for these families. Thank you all.

  7. I think there is a lot of great people here that really wants to or does help in some kind of way help people in need. I get Social Security Disability & that is talking care of my husband, daughter, son in law, my 8 month old grandson, me. So money is rough for everyone. But if someone comes to my house hungry I will feed them, naked I will give them clothes, but mostly I will pray for anyone that needs it. I don’t have much but I have God. A prayer will go a long way.

    1. Dorothy, Prayer is a huge privilege. I’m so thankful the God Almighty is also my Father and takes time to listen when I talk to Him. The true definition of charity is giving of oneself without thought of getting in return, like Jesus did on the cross. It sounds like you do this every day by taking care of your family. Thanks for praying. We need more faithful prayer warriors.

  8. My family and I donate to charities often. I have taught my kids to always help those in need and be aware that not everyone is as fortunate as others. They go to a Catholic school and one of the key reasons is so that they will always put religion first.

  9. I love Operation Christmas Child! We fill two shoeboxes each year. I sponsor a little girl in Indonesia through World Vision and locally we donate childrens winter clothing in our churches winter wardrobe drive for the homeless families. There are many needs near and far, we can’t do everything but we can give something.

  10. I truly believe a person gets more back than they give away to someone else. It’s a shame more people don’t see it that way.

  11. What lovely, lovely things to do. There are a lot of blessings out there, and our eyes have to be open to see them.

  12. I know of a lot of charitable organizations in my area but the ones I help most are for the veterans (including homeless veterans) and the local animal shelter. I not only donate money but also my time. It is the most rewarding thing ever!

  13. There are charities that I give to all the time. Because of my health I am unable to participate outside my home.

  14. I give to charities when I can, mostly veterans and homeless as I pass them on the street when they have signs asking for help. I also have been giving to gofundme’s for homeless and just people down on their luck because of health or surgeries and need help to pay doctor’s. So many need help and insurance doesn’t pay for a lot of things that these people need, so they need help to get it. I know because there is a lot of things I have refused to do myself because my insurance deductible is so high and I can’t pay even on a monthly bases there just gets to be to much. So I give a little to others and pray they get what they need.

    1. Linda- Thanks for allowing your hardships to make you more aware of the needs of others. God bless your efforts to bless others. Thanks for adding your voice to this important conversation.

  15. I think what feels like a small effect ur doing actuallly changes the veterans lives they just dont show it.. to me they deserve the world n if n when i have it i will give my all ?heart and time of course $$$

  16. I love what and how you said that. I use to do all the fundraising, help in the office and teachers rooms and as the PTA President I went to Sacramento every year to lobby for laws on behalf of our children, teachers and schools. When my kids graduated I took the charity fundraising chair at my job and helped raise money for different charities, local families in need and organizations throughout the year. Seven years ago I became disabled so I’m not able to physically help others but I participate in author auctions on here for charities, I donate and I help others when I can.
    I’m so thankful for my home healthcare aid. Yes she is paid for her services but she is only paid for 40 hours a week and never more. But in her days off she still comes over to make sure I’m okay and to help me with anything I need. Not all people would do that so I know I’m lucky to have her help and I make sure she knows it by telling her so all the time and she is pregnant right now so whenever I can I pick up things for her baby. She needs everything since this is her f first.

    1. I love how you’re modeling the spirit of charity in whatever way you can. I’ certain your help for your healthcare aid is making a huge difference for her. Thanks for sharing your story.

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