Bless a Family This Christmas

BY MARCUS CASTEEL, ASSOCIATE PASTOR OF THE CARE CENTER

Itís that time of the year! The decorations are everywhere you look and the speed at which we all try and get things done has ramped up. We are planning parties on the calendar, finalizing details with family, putting together Christmas lists and preparing for yet another amazing Christmas!

What if you werenít looking forward to Christmas? What if this year has been a hard one? As a parent, you still have the desire to provide an amazing Christmas for your family, but right now you are trying to keep the electric on and the car running. ĎNext year it will be different,í you keep telling yourself to get through.

Christmas isnít about the gifts, and our Bless a Family program isnít about the gifts either. Just like the philosophy of the Care Center isnít just about feeding and helping people, itís about a loving experience that is provided to give hope and dignity to someone in need. That is true for both volunteers and our friends who come to us!

When we looked at how we wanted to design our Christmas program, we wanted to do it differently. We also wanted to keep in mind the philosophy of the Care Center. So Bless a Family isnít your typical program where you get information about a family and purchase gifts for them. But rather itís designed to provide an amazing, loving experience. And not just one experience, but three!

First it gives the parent the experience of choosing. They get to go to the store and choose the exact present for their child. The second experience happens when the child opens the present on Christmas morning. They have looks of excitement and joy all over their face. The last experience is the parent watching them opening the gifts. Sitting back and soaking in the morning full of hope and love as a family.



Itís not about the gifts this Christmas just as itís not about the food being handed out in the Care Center. Itís all about you and I providing an experience to a neighbor in need; one filled with the love and hope of Jesus!

They always say giving is better than receiving, and I would agree! As I look back over the four plus years of the Care Center I see many friends being loved on and cared for as strangers. Then I look even closer and I see all the volunteers who have been changed to their core. Changed by their own experience of love, hope and dignity. They walked in the door thinking they were here to give and help others, but they walk out every week changed forever. What they received can never be purchased. It only comes through the life changing experience that God offers to each and every one of us as we care for the least of these.

So if you would like to experience this life change, prayerfully consider helping with the Bless a Family program. You can sign up to Bless a Family here. We would also love for you to join us in the Care Center. You can sign up to volunteer here.

Merry Christmas to you and your family! Hope to see you soon!

Bless a Family Signup