Charity should be and is by many a year-round practice. People are hungry, homeless and broke in spring and summer as well as during the cold winter months. However, the Christmas season has a way of evoking our need to do for and unto others.
Christmas was the milieu for many stories that tugged at our hearts when we were growing up.
Take Dickens’ tale of poor Tiny Tim. Set at Christmas! And remember Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Match Girl?” She froze to death and was carried to heaven on New Year’s Eve.
Could the emotions stirred by such stories be one of the reasons why we often make a greater effort during the Christmas season to give to those who are in need?
Or maybe it is because, deep down, we believe psychologist, author and academic, Amit Abraham who said, “Unless and until you give happiness to others you truly cannot be happy.”
Whatever the reason, most people will tell you that giving to others, including charities, is a big part of their Christmas tradition.
At Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) we do give throughout the years. We are a tithing church, which mean we give ten percent of our donations to charities and non-profits.
But like everyone else, the Disciples Women are even more inspired to choose local charities and give to them a helping hand during this season of Advent.
To quote inspirational author Shannon L. Alder, “Real women fight for something, other than their own emotions.”
Suzie Patterson headed up this year’s “Angel Tree.” Various members of the congregation took an angel from the tree and filled a “Santa bag” with items from a child’s wish list to Santa. The children “making their list” were from Maple Lawn Elementary, a low-income DISD school offering many programs to help get kids off to a good start.
Becky Riggins had gathered “little red socks” from Bryan’s House earlier this year. Suzie and Becky added socks to the Angel Tree for filling with donations, giving Central members a choice for their charity.
Becky Riggins also headed up a blanket drive as part of a “help keep Dallas’ homeless warm this winter” project.
Thursday morning 65 bags of toys and clothes were delivered to MapleLawnSchool by Wendell and Suzie Patterson, Buzz Dicken and Rev. Ken Crawford. Helping load Santa’s sleigh (actually it was a van) were teammates from Connecting Point Park Cities, a non-profit day program for adults with disabilities.
Twenty-six blankets were delivered to Metro Care by Becky and grand elves, Cade, Price and Aubrey. Metro care is the largest provider of mental health services in DallasCounty, serving more than 52,000 adults and children annually.
A second check from the church (the first one was in September) was mailed to Bryan’s House. If you have been a long-time Dallasite, you know about Bryan’s House. Founded in Dallas during the 1980’s at the peak of the AIDS crisis to care for children suffering from the horrific fatal disease, today it continues to help families. Bryan’s House responds to the needs of children and their families by providing medically-managed child care, respite care and community-based, family-centered support services for a variety of children with special needs.
Happy Christmas to all and all are welcome at Central Christian Church.