As the countdown to Christmas continues, have you noticed how the hours seem to fly? It seems that so many terrific school, church, family, athletic, musical, and community activities take place in rapid succession. If we’re not careful, the busyness of the season can derail some of our resolutions to make this Christmas one of meaning and generosity.
The good news is that it’s not too late to make a difference in our community and change our world through a few simple acts of kindness. Middle and high school students can lead the way in some of these family activities!
1. Serve Those Who Serve
Think about the people in our community who faithfully serve us all year long but who often go unnoticed. A simple way to show kindness and demonstrate God’s love might be to deliver baked goods to the fire station, police station, a doctor’s office, or to your letter carrier. What about a handwritten note of appreciation? A sincere “thank you” to those who serve can make a huge difference in someone’s outlook.
2. Give the Gift of Hospitality
There’s a difference between entertaining friends and practicing hospitality to strangers. Hebrews 13:2 reminds us, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Perhaps the words, “do not neglect,” are there because it’s often outside our comfort zone to reach out to people we don’t know. Is there a new family in your neighborhood or church who might appreciate a warm welcome to your home for dessert? Is there a widow or widower whom you might invite to share a meal?
3. Don’t Let the Date Stop You
Clearly, all holiday giving doesn’t have to be completed by Christmas day! The week between Christmas and New Year’s and the winter months in general are times when those who are alone are often most subject to feelings of isolation and depression. That’s especially true for the elderly in our community. Consider caroling at a nursing or convalescent home, or delivering small gifts to neighborhood senior citizens. Check with your pastor to get a list of shut-ins who would appreciate a visit.
4. Give Out of Our Abundance
All the food and gifts we enjoy at Christmas can dull our senses to the very real needs of others in our world. Consider adopting a new family rule: for every gift received at Christmas, each recipient would choose one current possession to donate. Do you have unused coats or sweaters that could be delivered to a local shelter? Might you sort through your bookshelves to find some worthwhile reading that could be donated to a local library? High schoolers could organize a neighborhood food drive to support a local food pantry. Let’s share the love!
5. Get On Board with Angel Boxes!
This is the 19th year that the IRCS National Honor Society students have reached out with the love of Jesus Christ to local kids who need support and encouragement. Through IRCS school family donations, Angel Boxes are given to teens in long-term foster care with and Pack-a-Sack Stockings are assembled for local public school elementary children. The packages include gift cards, school supplies, treats, Bibles for teenagers, encouraging notes, books, and personal products. These are simple but tangible ways to demonstrate care and concern from our school to the community. Donations can be made online!
One of the stated goals of Indian Rocks Christian School is “to teach the students consistent daily Christian living and service.” As a Christian school serving Largo, FL and surrounding communities, we’re intentional about living out our faith throughout the year and across all grade levels. Middle and high school students take leadership in serving as they prepare for lives of impact throughout society.
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