Sunday, December 14, 2008
After a really long week of VERY early flights... yesterday happened!

This was the first time I have been part of it....and all I know is I want to be part of it again!!!

A break away from my church is called Community 4:12. It focuses on the mainly Hispanic under privileged area of East Aurora, Illinois.

For the last 6 years they have given the community a Toy Mart... let me explain...

Our church networks, to gain toy and financial donations (for more toys) to then sell those toys to the families of 2 schools (Brady and Bardwell Elementary) in East Aurora, Illinois. The families are able to purchase up to 8 toys at $2 each (so it does not feel like a handout). Those monies are then split amongst the elementary schools for needed supplies for art, music, etc...

In addition to our congregations giving of their time and money... Both Starbucks and Caribou (rivals!!) donated both the time of their employees and enough coffee and hot cocoa to serve to 4000 parents and children waiting out in the cold yesterday morning... Starbucks also presented Community 4:12 with a financial gift at the end of the day! Let me also mention and thank Meijer for their gift certificates and assistance in purchasing more for the donation money would have allowed thanks discounts in cost!

I played a very small part of this whole event this year... 1 person out of 1000(!!!!) volunteers! But I really felt the Joy of giving back... and want to help that much more next Christmas and in the months to come!

This year, despite the economic fears... we exceeded our toy goal by 2000 toys for a total of 9500 toys...

We provided toys for Christmas morning (or Midnight as is the Hispanic tradition) for 3500 families.

$ 12,000 is going to the schools for their programs and needs... How cool it that!!

An amazing feat of logistics... from outside parking direction to crowd control to restocking to cashiers to gift wrapping to kid crafts and so on.... I am in awe and want to help it run even smoother next year!!
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Choas and Ode To Joy!!