Better to give or better to receive?

Given: Time to Christmas for Kids, clothing and toys for a family of 5.
Received: Reminder of how blessed we are, memories to last a lifetime.

The oh-so-typical saying of the holidays; Is it better to give or to receive, tiny Tim? I'm sure our moms have used this phrase on us at one time or another- and with good reason I might add! At some point in life we all learn to enjoy me, me, me. I'm sure the correct answer is give... but this year I'm not so sure.

See for the last 2 years now Josh and I have volunteered at the Christmas For Kids Foundation. They are ALL about the giving part and less about the me, me, me part. In the middle of the Hollywood Fred Myer we met our shopping buddy, Joseph. Just because the main event is already over this year doesn't mean you can't still receive... er... give. You can receive the gift of volunteering for this foundation online and Josh and I will see you there next year. You can receive a receipt for donating money to this nonprofit and you can receive a phone call/email for opportunities to donate your time next year! See! Still plenty of ways to "receive" this year!

Josh and I met Joseph for the first time last week. He's a 1st grader at a local elementary school who has 4 other siblings ranging from 12 years old to 6 months. I'm not sure the "me, me, me" bug has found it's way into Joseph's little 1st grade heart. And for 3 hours on a December morning we shopped for him and all his brothers and sisters.

Joseph -or Jo as his teacher calls him- has 4 other brothers and sisters. We covered them all! Joseph got a new jacket and fleece donated by Columbia and a new backpack filled with school supplies. His brothers and sisters all got new pants, sweatshirts, underwear, socks and shoes.... oh gosh, the shoes! I never in my life have seen a boy so excited about shoes. He could point out his friends shoes as we walked down the isle. He even got to pick out HIS new shoes too. I'm not sure why I was surprised but he chose these giant puffy skater shoes. I'm sure they were double if not triple the size of his too small, worn out sneakers he was currently sporting. And then the best part-- TOYS!!! My heart smiles as I recall Joseph's little face light up just like my little house does when donned with Christmas lights. He seemed to shine like a beaker in the night when we told him to pick out a toy. To Joseph he might think the got the better end of the stick. After all he and his siblings now have new wardrobes and Christmas presents thanks to all those who donated. I'm sure his siblings will agree. But in my opinion I got the better end of the deal, the taller cup of coffee, the waffle cone of all ice cream cones, the angel at the top of the tree. I received joy. And that's one gift that's hard to match.

Please forgive the very low quality photos. I don't think Joesph would care!

There are so many opportunities to "receive" this year!
Here are some that I am familiar with:

1. "Not another fruitcake!" Buy chickens, bunnies or goats for families to live off of through Gospel for Asia

2. Buy animals for families in poverty as a stocking stuffer through World Vision. You can even support a child or missionary.

3. Help buy a plot of land and teach people the trade of farming. My church, The Table, is taking donations during our service on Dec 21st at 10am at the World Forestry Center. If you would like more info about The Table visit the website

4. Donate time or money for homeless youth in Portland through Dinner and a Movie.

Feel free to post ways you know to donate this 2008 holiday season! Even if it's not in Portland post it! There are so many readers who don't live in this city.

With Joy, Melissa Tomeoni with Soul Mates Photography.



Rebecca Owen said...

so precious. i love it.