52 Weeks of Giving | 38


In my research for ideas of what to put in Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes I came across the statement that only 1 of every 200 Christmas Child Shoeboxes are for a boy 10-14 years old. I was immediately saddened and knew, instantly, that we would be putting together shoeboxes for boys 10-14 years old. We were going to improve on that statistic one shoebox at a time.

We had decided on 3 boxes this year (but, seriously, that might change as we get closer to drop off time; and maybe we'll have to put together a couple more boxes).

One of our 'tasks' from our to-do list this past weekend was shop for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. We visited Lowes...ah, hello, we were putting boxes together for boys, age 10-14. Lowes. Tools. Duh.

And, of course, Walmart. We packed our boxes fool of such goodness. The soccer ball is sitting in the box fully inflated. We deflated the soccer ball, included an air pump in the box and added in a selection of tools any handyman in the making would appreciate. A few hygiene items and school supplies and our box is jam packed full.

Thankfully, we have honking rubber bands to help keep the lids on.

This was so much fun. Giving to others is the very best feeling.

52 Weeks of Giving | 35


Hope Academy put a call out on Facebook, a pressing need for English as a second language (ESL) learning books, Bibles, in fact. They posted a link on Smile Amazon, which is tremendously helpful for those of us seeking for ways to GIVE back even just a little what God has so graciously given.

A simple Yes, Lord and a few Bibles were ordered. And, just like that a non-English speaking refugee in my home city would not only be learning English but hearing the Word of God.

Saying yes, is unbelievably, profoundly, - amazing.

52 Weeks of Giving | 34


So, you know I've been coaching a GED student through Hope Academy. Recently, she contacted me to tell me, unfortunately, she had to put her studies on temporary hold. I decided I still wanted to serve at Hope Academy. One of my strengths is administrative and asked if they needed some help. They jumped at my offer. We set up a time and I gave them about 2.5 hours of service doing some tedious but valuable computer work. Best part: the conversation. Both, Brian and Heather were there and we chatted as we worked. They uplifted me as I blessed them. God is so good!

52 Weeks of Giving | 33


The heart of this ministry is inspiring. I love everything they are doing for the under privileged youth in our city. When they wanted to help those in Houston, where she is from and her sending church, for Hurricane Harvey Relief, I jumped at the chance to partner with them in providing relief to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Morgan makes it super simple to provided financial support in various ways.