The past three days were filled with shopping and delivering.
Saturday we were scheduled to shop for the child we were sponsoring for Christmas. Gabe and I had already been to the store earlier in the week and we picked up a cute outfit and some fun toys for the little four year Christmas child. This sponsorship was done through our church and it will go to a child living with his family in a homeless shelter. We picked a four year old boy because we have a four year old boy. After lots of discussion to Gabe about how some children don't have a warm home like we do, we headed off in Target. Gabe picked out a Ninja t-shirt and then we headed to the toy aisles. Gabe, in true Christmas fashion picked out things he would like; Lego's and a Jake and the Neverland Pirates game.
Sunday we brought the present to church and laid it under the Christmas tree. We were a little early to service so there weren't many presents there yet. On the way out I sneaked a peak at the tree and my heart swelled with joy. The tree was surrounded by presents for children who otherwise may not have gotten any. Giving to others, that's what it's about.
Sunday afternoon we shopped for Toys for Tots. Target had a few good sales so we left with a bag full of goodies to drop off at the local newspaper.
Today was delivery day. We delivered a bag full of toys for Toys for Tots. Gabe proudly dropped the Nerf basketball hoop into the box and then spent some time playing with the penguins.
Our next stop was Laura's Home, part of Cleveland's The City Mission. Laura's Home is the only homeless shelter in north east Ohio specifically for women and children. Laura's Home not only provides a warm, safe place for women to live but it provides them stability, an opportunity to learn, grow and over come whatever is holding them back and helps them re-enter the world with a job, house and hope for their future.
In March I hosted a Bead for Life party where I challenged guests to bring diapers or wipes for Laura's Home to be entered into a raffle to win a their choice of a piece of jewelry from Bead for Life. A week later Gabe and I delivered three big bags of diapers and wipes to Laura's home. They were so grateful and I knew we'd want to donate their again. Earlier last week we shopped for diapers for Laura's Home and then picked out color books, crayons and play dough for the children living there. Upon arrival we were buzzed in and as I was talking to a staff member, Gabe ran up to the manger scene sitting on a table. He was talking to baby Jesus when a little girl came up; Gabe has never met another child he doesn't consider a friend, so after his perfunctory "Hi friend," he and the little girl proceeded to play in front of the manger.
Delivery day was successful. We left with an empty car but full hearts. Even more important Gabe is learning that it's kind to give, it's fun to give and he can make new friends where ever he goes.
I believe this... and I want Gabe to believe it too.