Thursday, December 03, 2009

Twinkle Toes, Angel Trees, and Teaching Generosity

Some of you (my three long-time readers) may recall that last year I was lamenting the lack of an angel tree type program here in Jordan. For those who are not familiar, Angel Tree started in my home state as a way for children whose parents are in prison and are unable to afford gifts to receive clothes and toys for Christmas. These days, it has expanded and the Salvation Army administers an Angel Tree program. For me, living in comfort in a land of serious and dire need, I wanted a way to help teach my children about giving back.

One of my family Christmas traditions was going to the angel tree, finding a child my age, and then going shopping for them. It always meant alot to go and find John or Katie on the tree who was my age and focus on picking clothes they would like or a gift I knew they'd enjoy. It helped me refocus on the meaning of the season. After all, Christmas isn't about presents... really it isn't... honest. I've been trying to figure out ways to carry on this tradition and this year considered doing on-line shopping through the Salvation Army program. And then, we went to our church's service in honor of the Day Against Violence Against Children. We have a relatively new pastor and he's brought in some new ideas. Can you guess what they had? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, they had an Angel Tree!

I immediately headed over and picked angels for the Beans (one girl and one boy the same ages as the Beans). The program is different in a couple of ways. First, it doesn't relate to prison, but rather to those who are needy. Second, it only gives gender and age, not first name. I think this is a good idea in such a small community. So, I was really jazzed about this. Next weekend, the Beans and I will be making a shopping trip to find clothes and toys for our angels. Thank you, Lord, for answered prayer.

Another awesome thing happening during this most Blessed season is Twinkle Toes. The School of Amman Ballet (which is also holding the Nutcracker) is holding a shoe and sock drive for kids whose families are unable to afford shoes. After all, no child should be without adequate footwear in Jordan's cold winters. They have identified two specific communities with significant poverty to meet the needs for. JujuBean heard about this from her ballet teacher in class. That same afternoon, she mentioned the program to me (I had already heard but was pleased to hear it from her). An hour or so later, I was walking to the back of the house and noticed the Bean bedroom light on. Poking my head in, I saw JujuBean sitting on the floor trying on shoes. She took the program so seriously that she was making a pile of all of her shoes that don't fit, dress shoes and casual shoes alike (well, and one really cute pair of Dora slippers). She was so excited to give some of her very gently used shoes (several pairs have been worn 2 or 3 times) to children whose parents can't afford to buy any.

So this year, I am particularly thrilled. The organizations in my life have made my job easier. They are providing outlets for giving and sharing lessons on life and thanking God for our blessings. And, as they do so, they are helping me pass along Christmas traditions to the Beans. I am so blessed and am thankful to those great people who are helping me pass some of those blessings along!

Cheerful Giving!


At 11:37 PM , Anonymous kinzi said...


I was going to tell you my kid's school has an Angel Tree for a local orphanage, and the Stars class it putting together little Christmas stockings of sundries for Filippinas at the shelter.

Love how a new fresh pastor brings new vision.

Tell us more about the shoes thing...we have a quite a few shoes, how worn can they be? ;)

Love shopping at that place you recommended...praying for you!

At 6:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

God helps those who help themselves........................................


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