If we could only do this all year long ... people don't stop being needy during the year, but it is especially heartrending to see so many needy people (in particular, families) at Christmas.
We aim to change that, one person (or one family) at a time.
All during the month of December, myself and some friends from our local senior citizen's group take it upon ourselves to bring a little "Christmas cheer" to people who would otherwise never have a Christmas.
Since we live in the Baltimore, Maryland, area, you can bet that there are a flood of people who are needy or have fallen into hard times. They have ended up in this predicament because of job loss, illness/disability, foreclosure of their homes ... any number of reasons.
Seems that a lot of these people are families just struggling to put food on the table or pay their bills.
The economy has only made it more difficult for people to try to get ahead in life. It is really depressing, especially now that it is the Christmas season.
Well, for the past few weeks, Maxine, Clara, Ethel, Monica, and myself (Gertie) have been perusing the local stores, picking up a gift here, a gift there, hoping by the grace of God that these struggling families will enjoy the gift(s) we pick up for them. We also slip in a little bit of money.
My way of thinking is this: if God can bless us, then He can use us to bless others. This is the main reason why we do this.
Nothing makes us happier than to see a child's face light up when we hand them a toy dolly or a toy firetruck, or perhaps a small turkey dinner (complete with all the fixin's!) to a weary-faced person who looks like that life has kicked to the curb. The joy that spreads on their face (and in their eyes) is indescribable; it warms our hearts to know that we are making a difference in some deserving person's life.
Even if it's something as simple as a turkey dinner or a hug, then the time we take to minister to these precious, precious people is worth everything! Nobody should be sad or alone on Christmas; even more so, nobody should not get something on Christmas Day, especially if it is a young teenager or child, or perhaps, a shut-in.
Our church has been doing a campaign to reach out to people with the love of Jesus Christ. This ties in as part of that. What better way to proclaim the gospel to others, especially now, in this season of hope and miracles? It has been extremely gratifying for me and my friends to be a part of this outreach.
We try to give deserving, needy families (or individuals) a sense of hope, as our way of telling them that we love them. We care for them. We do this by shopping for families for Christmas, or ministering to them in prayer or song, or even visiting them if they are sick and homebound (or in the hospital).
The "Do Something!" ministry outreach has been a phenomenal success. Countless lives have been changed. And we have been getting blessed by the Good Lord in return. What comes around, goes around. And it makes us feel pretty darn good.
Today is Christmas Day, and even though we should be home, celebrating the holiday with our families, we will be out in full force, again visiting with needy people and bringing just "a little Christmas" to them. We want them to have a Christmas that they will remember for the rest of their lives. We can have our Christmas later: right now, the people in need are top priority in our lives; they are the ones that matter.
So on that note, before I and the girls head on out, let me be the first one out of my group to wish you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest, healthiest, brightest of New Years! May God bless you and may you reach out with the love of Christ to others! Try it. You just might be surprised on how good it makes you feel inside!