Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Stocking Stuffer Outreach....a great success!!

What a great family event of giving we had on Saturday! Many thanks go out to Holly, pictured above, for organizing such a great outreach. Many families showed up and stuffed 700 stockings that will be given to children in need this Christmas through Salvation Army and Nashville Rescue Mission.
This all started several years ago in honor of Mary Owen, the daughter of Angie, pictured above holding her new adopted daughter, and Jason pictured below, holding her as well. She was a precious 19 month old little girl who went to live with the Lord about 5 years ago. Her birthday is in December so a group from their Sunday School class started this outreach in honor of Mary Owen on her birthday in order to be able to give to children in need in her name. What started as a simple outreach now is joined by Ordinary Hero, several classes from the Brentwood United Methodist Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, as well as a group from Brentwood Baptist. As Mary Owen, who would be turning 7, watches from heaven, she has created a picture of what heaven will look like with so many groups from so many denominations. The Lord has blessed this family with 5 children. Mary Owen, who lives with Jesus, two sons, and two daughters, one in which was adopted domestically.
What a wonderful gathering in celebration of Mary Owen, as a slide show of her pictures danced on the back wall. 
When we arrived, Holly had everything organized and ready for folks to arrive and start down the lines to fill the stockings.

 Many helping hands went into putting these stockings together.

 This proved to be an excellent outreach for the children. It is always so important to get our children involved in serving others in need.  We must not forget that they are the next generation and God is raising up WORLD CHANGERS. (just as their shirt says)

 We are teaching our children to see outside their own world for a minute and think about doing something to help someone this Christmas who would not have a Christmas if they did not step up to help.
 I loved seeing all the different families who have adopted at this event. We are showing them that God chose them to help bring change to others. Below is Vanessa, who just returned with her little boy from Ethiopia within the past couple of months.

 The kids lined up and got to go from basket to basket, with the help of their parents, and fill the stockings to the top.

 They were greeted by a person at the end of the line who stapled the completed stocking and set it in the basket to be given away.
 It's so great to teach our children to serve as early as they can remember. I loved seeing the little ones.

After the stocking stuffing was complete there was a HUGE pot luck of all kinds of yums for everyone!!
Christen Cole offered her beautiful voice while everyone ate, to make the evening complete.

I know I always enjoy having my own children at as many outreaches as possible. I want to thank everyone who showed up to help. Thanks to you and your families we stuffed 700 stockings in no time flat. I expect more next year :) Many thanks to Holly for organizing, and all of the different groups who showed up to help.

And most importantly, we are blessed to be able to honor Mary Owen on her 7th birthday, by giving to so many children in need, as she dances and rejoices, singing songs of praise, with the angels in heaven, as they all looked down over us all as we celebrated her precious life. I can just see Jesus looking her in the eyes and saying, "Well done, my precious child. What a beautiful life you lived."

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