One of my most vivid memories from childhood Christmases was the year my parents took us kiddos to the store to buy clothes and toiletries to donate to a local homeless shelter. We shopped as a family, gave as a family, and in the course of a few hours one Saturday afternoon, my brothers and I learned about the needy in our community, about serving, generosity, sacrifice, and blessing.
In 2009 I moved to Beijing, China to work at New Day Foster Home. One of my favorite jobs was “coordinating Christmas” for the children. There were so many fun things associated with this job – answering so many e-mails, having piles of packages arrive at the office with my name on them, putting the presents under the Christmas trees in the foster home, watching the children’s and nannies faces as they opened up their gifts… it was all so magical. But my very favorite part of the whole process was hearing back from families.
We’re taking the kids shopping tomorrow to buy Claire’s present… they are so excited.
Hi Hannah! We just went shopping for Henry. My little one, who is his age, picked out the toys.
Can we sponsor three children? I have two boys and a little girl – they each want to sponsor a child.
I loved loved loved watching mommies and daddies lead their children in small adventures of giving. Hearing testimonies of families, who year-after-year sponsored a child or two with some Christmas lovin’, gave me so much hope for the next generation of givers and lovers.
This year I’m in a different season – I’m no longer living in Beijing, or even in China, for that matter. But seasons have come and gone as the world goes ‘round and it’s time for Christmas again. Let’s not forget the little ones in China, yes? And let’s not forget the wonderful family traditions to be carried on, or to be begun.
‘Tis the season to send Christmas to China!
I did a little research, and found a few organizations that are offering opportunities for us over here in the USA to bless their kiddos for the holidays. For the most part, and I know that it’s a decision that has been made in an effort to demonstrate integrity, NGOs in China are requesting that packages not be mailed to them directly. A medium flat rate box shipped via USPS can cost upwards of $50. Maybe it’s worth it. The experience of shopping and shipping with your children is really hard to measure because it’s so powerful! I get that. However, it’s a lot of money, and for most organizations, funds and support could be used much more effectively.
So, without any more ado – here are five different ways to help many, many children this Christmas.
Love Without Boundaries has projects in many different cities in China. They support education, medical needs, run a few foster homes for children who need extra monitoring and care, fund surgeries, sponsor foster families, etc. Great organization! Amazing work! Trustworthy and excellent.
You can select a Christmas Card, or a Love in Action Card which specifically funds one of LWBs programs: Education, Family Preservation (Unity Fund), Foster Care, Healing Homes, Medical, or Nutrition.
Simple and beautiful.
New Day Foster Home has their main foster home about an hour south of the center of Beijing. They care for orphans from all over China who were born with the most complicated and life-threatening medical or therapy needs. New Day employs a local doctor and PT, and has trained up their own OT and ST, Special Ed teacher and nursing assistant, and provides really excellent care for some very special children.
New Day also hires local families to be “foster families” for children after they have stabilized, and has several different projects all over China. The Formula Project supplies formula to several orphanages, making sure that all of the babies under a year are getting the nutrition they need. New Day South is New Day’s foster home in Guangdong, China, and this quickly-growing project currently cares for over a dozen little ones.
New Day is excited to shop for the little ones this Christmas, and is giving families an opportunity to sponsor each child and nanny financially — and New Day staff will go shopping! Follow the link above to find out more, or e-mail here.
Okay, so New Day North is soooo close to my heart (my parents run it, just sayin’) and I’m thrilled about the opportunity to bless our sweet ones this Christmas. I’m flying back to China in time for Christmas (I’ll be hooooommme for Christmassss!!!) so I can carry over a pile of gifts for our children. For anyone who is already a monthly sponsor of one of our kids, you have the opportunity to shop and ship a present to them (send to me, I’ll carry it over).
The opportunity that I’m most excited about, however, is the chance that you and your children have to be stocking sponsors. You, or your eight year-old, can make a donation of any amount, and we will hang up a cardstock stocking by the sofa with care with your name and picture on it! The funds will go straight to throwing a Christmas celebration for the children, staff, and the rest of the orphanage, as well as general operating costs. Visit here for more information, or e-mail me.
Butterfly Children’s Hospices provides loving care and treatment for children with life-threatening illnesses and life-limiting conditions in local orphanages in Changsha and Nanjing. This year they are running a fun Christmas campaign, The Christmas Gift Appeal.
It’s easy to get involved. Just e-mail Katie Hill,the head nurse, and she will assign you a particular child to buy a gift for (or you can chose to buy for a specific age-group, or buy a general Christmas gift for a new arrival who may come before Christmas). The gifts will go directly to the children in the Butterfly Homes, in foster care, and some will be donated to the orphanage to spread joy this Christmas. Contact Katie to get involved!
Grace Village, in Guangdong, China, has decided to setup a wish list on Amazon and have the items shipped to a person who will be traveling to Grace Village in December. Visit here to view the wishlist, and then email Vickie Bennet for the shipping address. If people order from the list, the count of items wanted and are still needed should update. It’s a beautiful thing!
If people would like to do a tax deductible donation, they can do so at Zhangjiang Kids – just designate Grace Village in the drop down menu. They are in need of a couple more cribs, crib bedding, and high chairs for the next round of growth.
It’s almost time for Christmas! Let’s send some glad tidings to the most vulnerable, precious waiting children, shall we?