I just wanted to repost/share Bro. Jeff’s blog from Monday, in which he explained the Affordable Christmas Store. This ministry is such a great opportunity to help others and serve our community. If you have not read When Helping Hurts, I would encourage you to get that valuable book and see why we do the type of ministries we do here at Trinity to reach out to the community. The Affordable Christmas Store is all about helping others, without hurting by stripping dignity, respect and responsibility. Make a point to read Bro. Jeff’s blog below, pick up and read When Helping Hurts, and volunteer to help in the Affordable Christmas Store! (Oh, and don’t forget to shop for your donation!)
The Reason behind Affordable Christmas
Most of us don’t have to worry about whether we will be able to purchase toys for our children each Christmas. But there are many in Southaven who cannot for various reasons provide toys for their own children.
The materially poor are no different than you or I. We want to provide for our children. Yet, because of a lack of resources, the materially poor often feel a sense of shame, and feel inferior to others. When we provide toys for them because they cannot, we reinforce these perceptions both in them and in us about them.
Think for a moment how you would feel if year after year, you work but struggle to make ends meet, and cannot purchase gifts for your children. Then some well-meaning group or church comes along and donates a random set of toys. While grateful that your kids are happy, there is a deep sense of inadequacy and shame in you because, you know you should be the one to provide toys for your children.
We desire to change this perception. We want those who are low-income to know through our actions and our words that they have dignity. As image bearers of God, they have unique gifts and abilities, given to each person by God.
As a church, we want to be a part of helping them to recover their sense of dignity.
One of the steps to do this is through a ministry called, Affordable Christmas.
What is Affordable Christmas?
Affordable Christmas is designed with helping people recover in a small way their God-given dignity and a sense of joy of being able to provide for their own children. While the reality is that they do struggle materially, Affordable Christmas gives parents the opportunity to shop for Christmas toys at heavily discounted rates.
How does it work?
As a church, we will be collecting new, unused toys in partnership with businesses in Southaven to provide a “toy store” for about 40 low-income families whose children attend Hope Sullivan or Greenbrook Elementary Schools. The schools have selected these families, and they will have the opportunity to shop for toys for their children in their household.
On Saturday, December 12th, parents will come to our gym to purchase toys at about 1/10th the cost of retail. Bottom line: parents will be able to purchase toys for about $9/child. There will be free gift wrapping, as well.
How can you serve these families?
Donate new, unused toys. A list of suggested toys and items is on our website and posted at the church (across from the pastor reception room). We will be providing help for about 20-families but that will be about 100 children!
We ask that you spend about $20-$30 for a toy, and no more than that.
Donate wrapping paper.
If your company, team, or group you are involved with would like to participate to assist these families through a toy drive, please contact our church office.
Serve on a team:
Sorting team: team that will collect and sort and price toys.
Gift Wrapping team.
Set Up Team.
Contact the church to volunteer and if you have any questions.
Toys are due by Friday, December 4th.
We live in a broken world, and whether we are materially poor or rich, we are all broken because we are sinners. We are broken people living in a broken world and its system. Our relationship with God is broken and therefore relationships with people and the world is broken. Yet, God did not leave us in our broken, spiritually bankrupt state.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. ~ 2 Cor. 8:9
Get involved because you are loved by God and as a result you love people!