12 December 2010

Advent Calendar: Charitable/Volunteer Work

Did your family ever volunteer with a charity such as a soup kitchen, homeless or battered women’s shelter during the holidays? Or perhaps were your ancestors involved with church groups that assisted others during the holiday?

I have always felt that the Christmas season was a special time to share our blessings with those less fortunate.  Kirsten and Travis were very young when my husband and I tried to instill the value of helping others.  We started out by taking them to the grocery store and buying groceries (peanut butter, tuna, mac and cheese, soup, etc.) for the baskets at our church.  Our church, St. Peter Lutheran, would set baskets out and ask church members to donate food for what we called our Christmas families.  Families in need were identified in the community and then organizations would be assigned families to provide a Christmas dinner and gifts for.  Our church would have a food collection for more than just Christmas dinner.  Our church was very generous with their giving.  I remember the church started with 7-8 families and expanded to about 40 in recent years.

Later, as the children got older, we would sign up to purchase a gift for a certain child from the above Christmas families in addition to giving food.  The kids would usually pick a child close to their age to buy for.  Sometimes it would be a toy, book, or clothes.  Some years there would be a hat and mitten tree that the kids would decorate and items were donated.

So, from their youth my children have been giving to others.  I have seen numerous examples of my kids generosity to those less fortunate and it continues today.  I am a very proud mom.


  1. It's true, they did! I sent in a check to the Chicago Food Depository around Thanksgiving.

  2. Kirsten, What a good girl, or should I say young lady. I am sure your donation was greatly appreciated.

  3. we used to do that too. i should go write my blog post.