The concept’s easy however highly effective: At Christmastime, why not get native youngsters concerned within the spirit of charitable giving? From one child to a different, pitching in with donated items, stocking stuffers, and even meals can turn into a hands-on manner for younger folks to be a part of the giving effort that helps guarantee different youngsters can benefit from the holidays, too.
That was the unique imaginative and prescient of Pam Dodd and her husband, Bobby, the pastor at Spirit Life Church of God in Cullman. Begun of their former residence in Walker County, Youngsters Loving Youngsters — the charity Pam started 9 years in the past as a technique to mirror the blessings in her personal life again to her group.
“I don’t have youngsters, however 9 years in the past, I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit say — ‘begin Youngsters Loving Youngsters,’” she recollects. “I instantly responded and mentioned out loud, ‘I don’t even have youngsters; I don’t understand how to do that.’ However I might inform that I used to be speculated to do it, and that I had been entrusted to do it. It has been laborious; we haven’t at all times had numerous volunteers, and I’m not one to ask for handouts. However we now have at all times had sufficient to do that, which has been a tremendous blessing.”
The way in which it really works is simple: All year long, any group, enterprise or individual (particularly youngsters) can donate gadgets or funds for the charity to make use of as a part of its ever-evolving stock of Christmas items, that are saved on the nonprofit’s warehouse in Curry. Then when Christmas comes, households can attain out to the group through its Fb web page (@KidslovingKids), filling out a web based type to request the particular items and obligatory gadgets that would make their youngsters’s Christmas brighter.
“It may be something from hygiene merchandise to toys,” says Dodd, “and lots of people don’t notice how important these issues could be — particularly for youngsters, who typically are those extra ignored or forgotten for charitable outreach. Our objective is actually to incorporate them, and to succeed in out to each baby of any age who’s in want.
“We have now a beautiful lineup of sponsors and volunteers, and since we’ve been right here at Spirit Life Church, the best way we’ve had volunteers simply emerge and step up is mostly a outstanding story in itself. They’ve helped us develop Youngsters Loving Youngsters tremendously. We had an unlimited response final 12 months, however this 12 months can be our largest outreach ever — and due to our volunteers, it would even be far more streamlined and environment friendly.”
Dodd says Youngsters Loving Youngsters doesn’t display screen or try and prioritize its recipients’ wants. When somebody asks for garments, cosmetics, a particular toy or different reward, they merely try to make it occur — with out overthinking what their circumstances could be.
“I don’t know if somebody has simply stopped paying baby help, or if somebody’s simply walked out the door, or had their circumstances change in ways in which we are able to’t see. And over time, I’ve heard heartbreaking tales from folks; issues that actually tear you up as you hear about somebody’s misfortune with the vacations simply across the nook. You may by no means inform, primarily based merely on appearances, what somebody actually could also be going via.”
On Saturday and Sunday, Spirit Life Church served as the bottom of operations for Youngsters Loving Youngsters’ drive-thru reward and meals field giveaway, handing out greater than 500 bins to households who stayed of their automobiles (on account of this 12 months’s ongoing social distancing considerations). Santa was available to greet every baby from his chair underneath the church’s coated drive-through, whereas contained in the church, a small military of volunteers saved the bins transferring.
That occasion was solely the Cullman-based half of a bigger regional outreach that’ll discover the nonprofit doing the identical factor this weekend at three extra areas: Meek Baptist Church at Arley, Elevating Arrows in Jasper, and Cross Manner Church in Haleyville. The Arley drive-through will run from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m. on Dec. 19, whereas the Jasper occasion will run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. later that very same day. The Haleyville drive-through will happen on Sunday, Dec. 20 from 6 p.m. till 8 p.m.
To donate new or gently-used toys, clothes, or cash to Youngsters Loving Youngsters — or to be taught extra about sponsoring the ministry via your enterprise or group — contact volunteer Alisha Beard at 205-717-7478.