Our Gifts for the Forgotten initiative has been a beautiful tapestry of individuals and businesses working together to make something seemingly impossible – possible. God is the God of the impossible and so we love jumping into projects that are only possible if Jesus shows up.
Over and over again we see how God miraculously provides at the last second to minister deeply to the heart of a child. He is intentional. He loves each one of us. And nothing is too big or too small for him.
- One little girl needed and wanted a backpack. In all the gifts, God provided exactly ONE.
- A little boy wanted Jurassic Park figurines and in the donations were Jurassic Park LEGO sets. He gets to make his own figurines.
- Another girl longed for something Shopkins and God provided precisely ONE.
- Fifteen minutes before a mama showed up, with all but one of her kids sponsored, Rachael walked in with the gifts from South Oak Title and it was exactly everything that young man needed.
- Another boy wore 4X clothing and God sent amazing shirts, jackets and pants just his size.
- A drug addict mama walked away from her five year old son. He had nothing, BUT God. Green Clean showed up with clothing and food. Other individuals brought items. He received clothing, pajamas, underwear, socks, shoes, toys.
Our deep gratitude to Skyzone Hoover, The Garage in Pelham, Merrill Lynch, South Oak Title, Rocky Heights Printing and Covenant Heating and Cooling for providing drop off locations around Birmingham.
We provided an entire SUV load of gift items for homeless teenagers through our partnership with Project Hope of Family Connections after they were all wrapped by our retired friends at Galleria Woods. The teenagers they serve were provided gifts such as backpacks, toiletry care, socks and toboggans.
Another load of donations were wrapped by our retired friends at St. Martin’s in the Pines and those gifts were designated for single parents. We were able to provide many of these parents with gifts that they could give their children’s school teachers. Everyone wants to give a kind gesture to those who invest in their children and it can be especially heartbreaking not to be able to afford a small gift for those who invest in our children. The items provided for the single parent gifts included items such as hand soaps, coffee mugs, fun socks and wholesome books.
One of our surprises was being promoted by Macaroni Kid through our partnership with Skyzone Hoover. We were thankful for the opportunity to be highlighted in their awesome parent connection online magazine. Read their article about us HERE and start following Macaroni Kid for ideas on how to engage your kids in creative ways through community events and programs in the Greater Birmingham community. We have so many incredible resources for fun, educational and physical activity experiences for our children around our city and Macaroni Kid does a great job consolidating all this in one place for easy access.
We Sew Love made 63 beautiful stockings we distributed to children. They also collected and donated Christmas gifts including new clothing, jackets, blankets, Moscow adult gifts, scarves, board games, puzzles, men shaving kits and toiletries. Other individuals cleaned out their gift closets and brought many stocking stuffers, toys and winter gear. The Ballantrae Ladies Golf Association also gave up their gift exchange and gave all those resources to provide gifts for children. Old Navy, Pure Fitness, Yes Life, Vintage Food Co., Saavy Shoestring Interiors, LATTA Painting, Mighty Oak Cooperative high schoolers, a South Shades Crest neighborhood, two bunco groups, individuals and families also adopted children for Christmas.
Verizon also adopted Grace Klein Community as their December charity of choice and raised over $1,000 for our organization. Another partner ministry, Hearts and Hands, who refers many elderly to our monthly food delivery program, surprised us with a generous $5,000 donation. Asbury United Methodist Church contributed $2,000 towards our monthly Food Delivery Ministry.
Our almost grand finale came from Church of the Highlands Grandview when they filled our box truck with 74 construction size bags of leftover Christmas gifts from their Giving Hope Outreach that we were able to distribute to many more children in Birmingham. The needs kept coming and the supply always met the demand.
Another wonderful partner, Redemptive Cycles helped make a GKC kid’s dream come true by custom adapting a bike to add a neon green chain and handles.
We worked to keep track of all our donations and distributions along the way and from our closest spreadsheet records, all of us working together provided Christmas for all 307 of our food delivery families, 30 mamas, and another 327 Birmingham sponsored children. More than the gifts, we trust they felt our prayers, our leaning hard into Jesus to provide what they needed, our scattered minds and long days, the ways people sacrificed and shared, and one day how they too will love other children because they remember what God did for them through His people.
“If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.” – Deuteronomy 15:7-8
Read that verse above and delight in the Lord, because this my friend represents the people of Birmingham. Every person who has participated in the Gifts for the Forgotten has been openhanded and freely given whatever was needed. Blessed be the name of the Lord!!
Together we remembered people and they were no longer forgotten! Jesus came to give us life and life to the full. Our love and our sacrifice is a picture of Jesus’ mercy, coming to the world to grow up into a man and die for our sins, all because of LOVE.
Friends, we are living Christmas every day as we grow in our openhanded lifestyle of loving our neighbors as ourselves.