While this cold weather seems like Christmas, it is wrecking me. For one, I’m not your cold weather kind of girl — I’m a hot sun-shiny person. But mostly this weather has me thinking about how to help the less fortunate out on the streets.
It hurts my heart to turn on the news and see how homeless are deceased due to the elements outside. So as we hurry and scurry about making sure our family is cared for during the holidays, let’s remember to reach out to those less fortunate.
6 Things You Can Do to Help the Less Fortunate
1. Know your city.
Where do the homeless congregate? What fast-food services are available in that area? Do city busses run there? Take a family field trip to drive around your city and find the needs. Let your children see beyond the walls of your own neighborhood and comfort zone. In my book Graffiti: scribbles from different sides of the street, written with my homeless friend Rick, you will read of a story where my children after returning from a mission trip to inner city Nashville said, “Mom, I’m so glad we don’t have places like this in our town.”
2. Plan a day for you and your children to shop for those in need.
Explain the needs of those you saw, and make a list of things that could bless them. Decide how many gift bags you’d like to keep in your car for those special stops. If you live in a city where there are homeless, they are always in need of: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, body wash, long socks, underwear, water and granola bars. Most of these items can be found at the Dollar Tree for $1.
For these winter months warm blankets, thick long tube socks, and mittens are a special gift.
3. Have fun packing bags for the homeless.
Buy brown paper bag lunch sacks. Let your children decorate the bags with colorful markers, including a favorite scripture. Then stuff the bags with the items you got from the Dollar Store. Keep these bags in your car where they are easy to get to when you see someone in need.
Write Christmas messages on the bags or include a Christmas greeting and message. Your words will be treasured.
4. Buy $5 gift-cards to a fast-food restaurant in that area.
Keep a few gift cards in your car to have ready for those in need on the corners or wherever you run in to them. When you see someone in need or your children are asking you to stop to help someone, keeping your doors locked roll your window down and hand them a gift card. You will be so blessed by the sweet smiles on their face. They can in turn use these cards for warm drinks and to get out of the cold.
5. Give away blank stamped Christmas cards. Many this time of year long to hear from family, but do not have the means to send a Christmas greeting. Buy a box of cards, then stamp the blank card and hand out to those you come in contact with. You are sure to bring a smile! 6. Give a hand-written Christmas card. If you are out on the community often and have formed a relationship with someone, please remember them for your Christmas card list. It doesn’t take anything fancy — hand write a card or have your children make them. Include a message of Christmas cheer and words of encouragement. As we remember our Savior this season, may we remember those He came to hang-out with and bless. You and I can surely make a difference when we look beyond ourselves. If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear about them.