How We’re Giving This Season

When our church first presented the Advent Conspiracy I had to give some thought as to how we could participate as a family. Newly working retail I have had very little free time in November, and less in December. As far as spending less…well, my family has had a modest Christmas since I began working at a church 8 yrs ago. Back then we established a 3 gift tradition for our kids – to correlate with the story of the Magi (inaccurate as that may be). One gift always includes books, and one is something they ask for as long as it is well under $100. Our extended families began a name exchange many years ago that included kids under 18 only – so as far as spending less, we already were spending well below the average U.S. household (the figure for which blows my mind!).

We couldn’t spend much less, but we certainly did want to GIVE to very special causes this season. When I explained to our 6 yr. old, who was enjoying a nice clear glass of water, that there are children in the world who have no clean water to drink she was quite surprised. Even more so when I told her they did not have toilets, washing machines, and bath tubs. It was a good teaching moment, and she has talked about it several times since our initial conversation. We talked with the kids about how we might participate in the Advent Conspiracy.

As a family we decided we wanted to raise money towards Blackhawk’s Advent Conspiracy gift. The other cause we wanted to give to is McKallies Home of Future and Hope, an orphanage in Malawi, Africa of which we have had heart connections with since the first brick was laid. We needed to be creative, and decided to make Apple Serving Trays (a project I had made about a month ago and since has been sent to Paper Crafts magazine for publication) to sell to family and friends. We had orders for six trays.


My one weekend off in November was set aside to make the trays. As you can see – it was a family affair. Both kids and my husband all helped with the prep and priming of the trays. I took over on the artistic painting and adding in the patterned paper and ribbon – and completed the project on Monday. The trays turned out beautiful, and almost all have been delivered. The kids will actually be the ones counting the money and dividing it up between product cost, Peruvian wells, and McKallie’s home. We want them to see the fruits of their labors, and when the pitchers are passed in church on December 14th I want them to be the ones who put their love offering inside.

Once the original Apple Serving Tray comes back from the magazine publisher, I would like to find a way raise perhaps even more money for the cause(s), and am hoping to find someone willing to put it in an e-bay auction to raise money for non-profit, such as McKallie’s Home.

Written by Rita Shimniok, Owner & Designer – Covenant Creations

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Love All

Act Local: Share gifts of time and resources with those in our community. At the Impact Tree in the Atrium, find opportunities available for individuals, families and life groups. All the information you need will be on the cards by the Tree. Take a card – put an ornament on the tree.

Give Global: On Sunday, December 13 during services, we'll take up an Advent Conspiracy offering (a direct result of spending less) to give towards clean water projects and wheelchair needs in Honduras, Kenya and Romania. If you won’t be able to join us at services on that day but still want to participate, just write "Advent" in the memo of your check and drop it in any of the offering boxes.


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