“You were born to make an impact.” – Orrin Woodward
The Life on Life Initiative has made such an impact in the world already that it’s hard to imagine Life without it! We are so proud of all of the Life Members who continue to serve and organize events that contribute to the mission of setting people functionally free in society. Today, we would like to feature two events that took place in late 2016:
Life Members Fill Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child in Brighton, Ontario
The world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child, uses gift-filled shoeboxes to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world. Since 1993, the Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child, has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. In 2016, Operation Christmas Child’s goal was to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 12 million children. Shoebox gifts are collected in the U.S., Australia, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Spain, and the U.K. More than 500,000 volunteers worldwide, with more than 150,000 of those in the United States, are involved in collecting, shipping, and distributing shoebox gifts.
Several Life Members and children gathered together on November 22, 2016 in Brighton, Ontario to fill boxes for Operation Christmas Child. The group filled empty shoeboxes with “wow” items—like a doll or soccer ball—and other fun toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and notes of encouragement.
“We were excited to organize a Life on Life event that would create a positive environment and opportunity for adults and youth to grow by serving others. Both Rose’s family and my family have participated before in Operation Christmas Child and we both felt it was an excellent opportunity for our team to come together. We met, divided into pairs to purchase for two boxes per pair (or family). Kids were encouraged to think about what other kids would like and all were encouraged to consider the environment in which the people receiving the boxes live. We then re-gathered together as a team, packed the boxes, and watched a DVD that was sent with the Operation Christmas Child packages from Samaritans Purse.” – Susan Lebeau (Life Member)
“I loved watching the kids’ faces as they saw the children on the video open their boxes and how excited they were. It was also really great to be part of the discussion with the children to see what they learned from the video. I was really impressed with how much insight our children had about the impact of their efforts. In the store it was amazing to watch the kids really put thought and effort into exactly what to include in their boxes. This was a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to do it again next year. Talk about an impactful Life on Life initiative!” – Kate Smies (Life Member)
“They were really poor so I wanted to give. I liked watching the videos about how excited the kids are when they get the toys.” – Elijah MacDonald (age 7)
“This was a great project and very informative learning about where the packages go from the video. It was a fun project!” – Sandra McDonald (Life Member)
“In our house, the kids aren’t normally paid for chores. But the 2 weeks before, I let the kids do “extra” chores to earn money to use for the boxes. It worked awesome! Elijah (7) earned $14, Ben (5) earned $5, and Emily (3) earned $3 to spend on the boxes. They were really excited to spend that money to help others. I love doing stuff that the kids can see is making a difference. It’s so easy to stroke a check and give money, but the kids don’t “see” that. We love being able to do something with them that helps others. It was great to be able to come together as a team and accomplish more together than we could separately.” – Rose MacDonald (Life Member)
Life Members Support Angels of Action to Feed Hungry Children – written by Rob Wheeler
It’s hard to imagine in a country with such abundance like America that children go to bed hungry every night. Sadly, this is true.
In the Spring of 2011, three women in Michigan’s Mecosta County decided to do something about this and formed Angels of Action. As a non-profit, Angels of Action’s mission is to assist children in the community by providing them with weekend meals throughout the school year. This is done by sending children home on Friday’s with backpacks filled of food. Over the past five years the project has grown to serving over 600 children.
To help make this possible, Angels of Action hosts various fundraisers, the largest being the Angel Ride, which is held on the last Saturday in September. The bike ride is open to all, with riders choosing a distance they are comfortable with, ranging from 13 to 100 miles. To help pull this off, Angels of Action requires many volunteers. Over 25 of those volunteers were Life Members from the Crusaders organization, led by Holger and Lindsey Spiewak. Throughout the day, starting early in the morning until late in the afternoon, Life Members volunteered their time by manning various stations set up throughout the ride, providing food and refreshments for bikers. Then they helped with the clean up and tearing down at the end of the day. There were Crusaders from as far away as Traverse City, Detroit, and Flint, many driving over 3 hours to volunteer on a beautiful fall day. It was a great time, and Angels of Action has invited us back to help with next year’s Angel Ride.
“It was a privilege to serve with Angels of Action. The exponential impact of serving an organization that serves the community will be felt for generations! It is such a wonderful organization. ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:41.” – Steve Rottier (Life Member)
Thank you to all of the Life Members who participated in these Life on Life events in Michigan and Ontario! Your service and contribution truly made a difference in the lives of many children.