Each year, Love Your Neighbor hosts a Community Christmas event for neighbors to come serve, shop and be in community together. This event has been a pivotal part of Love’s work since its inception and we are so thankful that it has become a key relational arena for the neighborhood.
“In the past, community members have filled out forms, volunteers have shopped and wrapped gifts, and blessed a lot of families in a very transactional way. Christmas was a hand-off of gifts from someone who could contribute to someone who could not. It made the giver feel good but did not consider how it might impact the receiver. God has since shifted the Christmas ministry to become a weekend Community Christmas celebration for all involved. An arena that is dignified, non-judgmental and relational.”
This celebration begins on a Friday and pre-registered Life Skills Participants and community members are invited to come to a local church with their family to shop for their gifts. Each family contributes money towards the event and is able to shop on their own. The kids are connected with a volunteer who shops alongside them as they pick out a gift for their parents. Parents are then able to shop for their kids without them seeing the gifts. Each guest is also invited to wrap their gifts side by side with volunteers and pick out a few stocking stuffers.
Throughout the event, kids are welcome to do Christmas crafts, everyone can enjoy Christmas music, treats and fellowship with one another. Once the shopping and wrapping experience is over, volunteers will load up your car and families are welcome to stick around to continue their crafts and fellowship.
Love’s Community Christmas never ceases to amaze each person involved. It is a cheerful and dignified way to connect with and love our neighbors. This event brings together people from all walks of life and allows us to share our stories and learn from one another.
As we prepare for the 2021 Community Christmas event, we are hoping and praying that we will be able to connect with even more neighbors than before. We are hoping and praying that we will be able to share God’s love and build new relationships with our neighbors.
If you are interested in learning more about this event, we would love to hear from you!
If you are interested in volunteering at the event, contact Cindy Jarvis at CindyJ@lovewm.org
If you are interested in donating gifts for the event, follow the links below to shop online or bring in brand new gifts for ages 0-60 worth $20-$30 by Monday, November 22nd.
If you are seeking assistance with Christmas gifts, please contact Tarah in our Connection Center at email@example.com or 616-662-3300×128.