Every Friday night we are at Washington Elementary, the school where Urban Church is currently meeting. Once their after school program has ended we come in to start setting up chairs, lights, decor, and every other thing you need to make a church happen at an elementary school cafeteria.
We try to stay involved with the school and help in as many ways as possible and we have noticed some children are not as priviledged as others. That is why we were excited when we started working on a relationshp with Toys for Tots.
We had donated toys to them years prior and we had come to help them sort through all the donations they get. But this year we partnered with Toys for Tots in a new way; not only did we collect toys for children but we also became a distributor and one of our stops was Washington Elementary.
That is how last Friday was not only the the last day of school before winter break for the kids but it was also the day we got to see them smile over gifts they were not expecting.
We started early in the morning, we wrapped the gifts, sorted through them making sure the kids were getting age appropriate gifts and then loaded up a van with everything. We got there and set up the gifts for the kids in the library before the kids were there. We put nice tags in them and waited for the kids to be called into the library. They didn't know why they were there and we just invited them in, played games with them, read them a story and then we told them those gifts were for them. They were so happy to see they were getting 3 gifts each, some of them were trying to peek through the wrapping paper as we indicated they had to ask their parents if they could open them.
This year we, Urban Church, were able to give over 100 gifts to 2 different schools and 60+ families. Pretty wonderful, considering we're a 20 month old church of 140 people. Nothing is more rewarding than loving people; nothing is more important and certainly nothing is more eternal than offering the unconditional love we have been given.