love week 2014

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

love week has officially come and gone, but the impact on our community and our family is far from over. love week is a week in our church where we go above and beyond the other 51 weeks of serving and giving. there are events practically around the clock for over a 100 different outreach partners.

teaching our girls to looking beyond themselves and help others is super important to me. i still remember one christmas, my dad hearing on the news that toy donations were low, took our whole family to toys r us for a shopping spree. we went in, went on a toy shopping spree and left them in the donation bin.

i want my girls to have memories like that and that means it has to start with me. to raise them to be generous and compassionate,  i need to be generous and compassionate. and really, they may not fully grasp everything we're doing, but that's okay. at this point in their lives, i figure if nothing else, they are learning that helping others is just part of what they do (even if we have to have conversations about why they can't take the toys home for themselves.)

one of the first events we helped with was packing little care kits for the homeless in our city. things like nail clippers and granola bars and band aids are a practical way to give someone hope. the girls loved being helpers and collecting everyone's finished bags.

probably my favorite kid friendly event was one our group hosted and i was able to do a few times throughout the week. it's a ministry called bright blessings and it provides homeless and transient children with a birthday celebration. they say that they've found a huge number of children they talk with have never had someone celebrate their birthday. and bigger than toys and cake, having someone celebrate your birthday means you're seen and valued. it gives them something to look forward to.

families and young kids can volunteer by wrapping presents, decorating wrapping paper or placemats (great for really little ones), putting together party favors, and so much more. if you want to volunteer during the year, you can check out events here.

it was a really incredible week, but it doesn't have to stop. we can carry the same love and generosity all year, whether at a planned event or not. i know i always feel challenged at the end of love week to open my eyes to the ways i can love and serve the people around me.
and because it's sometime just easier to show you (and because i am a big fan of the team that created this ;), i'll let you see for yourself. 

The Sights and Sounds of Love Week from Elevation Church on Vimeo.