Part of the mission of Crisp Collective is giving back, so today I want to share a few easy ideas of ways you and your family can give back this holiday season!  If you are like me, I always have the best of intentions to do projects like this, but if I don’t specifically carve out a time to do it, we get busy, and it just doesn’t happen!  I know for some of you it seems wrong to think about Christmas before we have even carved the turkey, but many of these projects have deadlines that are coming up quick!  If none of these speak to you, I will be sharing more ideas as we get closer to Christmas, and as always, I would LOVE to hear ideas from you about things that you and your family have done that have been meaningful!  Feel free to leave them in the comments or email me at info@crispcollective.org.  And in the spirit of giving back, if you read to the end, there just might be a little giveaway!

Samaritan’s Purse:  Operation Christmas Child

A couple of years ago my friend Suzy shared this project with me, and I just love it!  Samaritan’s Purse is an organization that draws it’s mission from the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) and strives to provide aide to the world’s poor, sick and suffering.  At Christmas they encourage others to pack a shoebox for a child in need.  You decide whether you would like your shoebox to go to a boy or girl ages 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14.  They ask that you select one “wow” toy such as a soccer ball, doll, or stuffed animal and then add fun toys, hygiene items and school supplies.  You can also add a handwritten note, crafts and/or a picture of your family for the child. Most importantly, they ask that you pray for the child that will receive your gift.  For a $7 donation online you will receive a tracking label to follow your box and discover the destination of your shoebox.

So this past weekend, a barefoot Logan (long story), and I popped into Target to get him some shoes, and purchase items for our boxes! We got two plastic “shoebox” size containers with lids from the storage section, hit up the dollar spot, toy department, cosmetics and school supplies.  Logan was an awesome little shopper!

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You can use an actual shoe box, we just didn’t have any at home!  The website gives lots of ideas for things to pack in your box, as well as what NOT to include!  We chose to give to two boys, ages 2-4, since those are the ages of my boys.  Logan had lots of opinions as to what needed to be in each box, and seeing him get excited about choosing the items made my heart so happy!  Here is what we purchased for each box:

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Once we were home, Logan helped me draft a note for each box, and we said a prayer for the little boys somewhere in the world that will receive these boxes.  I cannot wait to see where they end up!  My sweet neighbor encouraged our neighborhood to participate and even hosted a wrapping party for the boxes at her home. We were out of town, but lucky for us she was willing to include ours in her drop off.

 

I love this project because kids of any age can help, it can be knocked out during your weekly run to Target or Walmart, and it is budget-friendly.  However, the drop off deadline is THIS WEEK!  NOVEMBER 14TH-21ST are the drop-off dates.  There are lots of drop-off locations that can be found on their website: samaritanspurse.org.  If you choose to follow your box, there is also an option to donate an extra $6 to give lesson books and a Bible.  Best.gift.ever!

A Million Thanks

The sacrifices our service men and women make for our country is immeasurable!  A Million Thanks is an organization that provides appreciation to our active and veteran military through sending letters, granting wishes of injured military and providing scholarships for their children.  My boys are too young to physically volunteer at many places, so I LOVE that this is something they can actually do!  They both love to color and paint, so we had fun creating some colorful letters to tell our military just how much we appreciate them in our own special way!

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I mean, let’s be real….Will mainly threw crayons and pretended to be a dog, but we tried!

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A million thanks asks that you donate $1 for each letter to cover the cost of postage, and you can include your address or email address if you would like for them to write back.  Once you have created your letters, mail them to:

A Million Thanks

17853 Santiago Blvd.

#107-355

Villa Park, CA 92861

 All Christmas letters for our troops need to be received by DECEMBER 1ST to ensure delivery overseas for the holidays, so get to writing!!

 

There is also a section on the website where you can read stories of injured military men and women, see their wish and donate to help them achieve it.  Y’all…some of these stories just broke my heart!   These men and women are not asking for lavish, expensive or extravagant gifts.   Just simple things that would improve their daily lives or allow them to make memories with their families.  Don’t we owe them at least that?  I hope that you will take a few minutes to read some of these stories and consider donating to some of these wishes!  Sometimes we donate to charities, and while I’m sure the money is used for good, we don’t know exactly HOW it is being used.  I love that donating here let’s you see the people you are directly helping, read their stories and know exactly the impact your donation will make on their lives!

Salvation Army Angel Tree

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Angel trees are located all across the nation in a number of retail spaces.  You can find specific locations for your area online!  Dallas alone has angel trees in 11 major malls and hopes to receive 300,000 donated Christmas gifts for more than 50,000 children and special needs adults!  So awesome!  Each “Angel” has it’s own tag that lists a child’s first name, age, gender, clothing sizes, wish item, and need item. You select the child that seems the best fit for your family, purchase the items and return them to the Salvation Army angel tree location.

 

I love this project because again, children of all ages can get involved, you can choose an angel with wants/needs similar to you or your child so they can relate, and this can be knocked out in an afternoon!  If you head to the mall each year to visit Santa, maybe you make a visit to the Angel Tree another part of that annual tradition?  How amazing to give Christmas morning to a child that would otherwise have nothing!  I also love that “angels” are local, so you are giving to a child in YOUR area.  Check your local Salvation Army page, but most Angel Tree sites started November 4th and the deadline for turning in purchased items is DECEMBER 8th.

 

Stay tuned for more ideas of ways to give back in the weeks to come!  If you have participated in any of these projects above and have stories you want to share, I’d love to hear them!

GIVEAWAY

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Now, GIVEAWAY time!!  In the spirit of giving, I will be giving away one of these hilarious Gangsta Wrapper mugs from The Sister Studio.  Don’t you need to be sipping out of this bad boy while you tie some killer bows on all those Christmas goodies?!? I think so!  Be sure to check out all their fun holiday mugs!  AND a $25 Amazon gift card to kick off your holiday shopping!  To enter, simply subscribe to my blog!  Subscribing sends posts directly to your inbox so that you don’t miss out on anything! If you follow me on Instagram, you can also like the giveaway post and tag friends for additional entries.  Winner will be announced next Tuesday!