Blog Archive

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Unfilled Stocking - Gifting with Hope

As I mentioned earlier this month, the theme for the CW blog train is “gifts of the heart.” Looking through the various catalogs and flyers I’ve received from stores it would seem that the heart is not the reason behind the holiday gifting. It is more one of show someone you care by how much you spend. I’ve lost interest in that long ago due to the fact that I really don’t need more junk and when I do need something I buy it.

For me a gift from the heart is sharing something I’ve made with others like my breads, candies or roasted veggies. Yet not everyone enjoys them. And when that doesn’t work helping someone by giving them my time by making a meal or watching a child or a pet is a great gift.

Still there is more that can be done. No matter how poor we are in this country we are like millionaires compared to third world countries. Why not reach out to others in this holiday season and give something memorable? Give a gift in someone’s name to those really in need. Just deleting giving someone yet another tech gadget and donating to one of these worthy organizations instead is a much better way to share your heart.

You hear their bells and see their red kettles every Christmas. You can drop in donations anytime you hear those bells. But you can also adopt an “angel” and ensure a disadvantaged child or senior receives a gift this Christmas through The Salvation Army's Angel Giving Tree Online site. This ends 12/13. This organization has been helping the needy since the 1880’s.

This organization has a different kind of gift catalog. This where you can buy mosquito netting, farm animals, freshwater wells, and fish for those in need around the world. They also have “Operation Christmas Child” where they fill shoe boxes with everyday needs for children. Many local churches also have their own shoe box ministries for children.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created in 1971. Their work is based on the humanitarian principles of medical ethics and impartiality. The organization is committed to bringing quality medical care to people in crisis regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation.

Mission Aviation Fellowship -US is headquartered in Nampa, Idaho and operates in 14 countries with a fleet of 58 planes supporting the efforts of over 600 Christian and relief organizations working to spread the Gospel and improve the lives of isolated people. Most recently, MAF worked with Doctors Without Borders to combat a deadly measles epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2011).                                                                                                                   
Operation Blessing is dedicated to alleviating human need and suffering in the United States and around the world through providing disaster relief assistance, binging clean water to villages, gving hunger relief through food banks and feeding programs, Initiating community development programs in impoverished communities, and through orphan care projects.

Local communities also have local and regional food banks that always need food. Each week when you shop try to pick up extra canned or dry goods and drop them off monthly. You could even make it a group project.

These are just a few suggestions. Find something to do in your own community – and not just at Christmas. These organizations need our help year round.


  1. Thank you Chris for giving links to all these worthy charities and for reminding us that it is an ongoing effort to meet the needs of others.Also for pointing out that we can share the gift of Christmas all year long- not only one time of year! Merry Christmas

  2. good post and reminder

    biiiiig hug

  3. Great post, Terrie. There are so many organizations doing good. Here are two more that are worthy of consideration:

    Gospel for Asia (, where you can buy sewing machines, water filtration systems, livestock and more for the poorest of the poor in Asia.

    Free Wheelchair Mission (, which provides specially made wheelchairs around the world to those who otherwise wouldn't have access to them.

    -Traci B

  4. Great job giving notice of these worthy organizations. The man who led me to the Lord is a pilot and missionary for MAF.

  5. All of your suggestions are wonderful. We have done this kind of thing ourselves (gave a 'chicken' to a poor family from Africa in the name of a family member etc ... ) I also love to give and receive homemade gifts.

  6. That was lovely, thanks for sharing.

  7. wow, I love what you did with this post Chris!! Very meaningful to provide such a useful reference to good organizations and charities. Merry Christmas!!

  8. Wonderful post, Chris! Sorry I just got round to reading it today. I've been dealing with my late father-in-law's old dog, who was very ill. I volunteered to take him in to be put down, since it was so hard for my hubby to do. Now I'm pretty wiped out, but strangely in the mood to help others. These are great links.

  9. What a wonderful list, Chris! My sweet 13 year old daughter has been buying blankets all autumn (37 and counting) and finally enlisted her entire Student Ministry Team to rally behind her to raise the money to buy the remaining 13 blankets she has her heart set on handing out to the homeless in our city. She's been hand making beautiful cards to go with them too -- all with Christ's beautiful message of Hope. Such a heart! She humbles me, this fourth child of mine. Next week, we'll go as a family to hand these gifts of love out to those who truly need the warmth of both a blanket and a Savior this holy season.

  10. Cindee...That is so great to hear a child having a heart for helping others. I hope it continues to be infectious with her friends.

  11. Very nice way to show what it's really about. God bless you!