The season of Christmas is a favorite time of year for many people, with a chance to take a break, relax, spend time with family and friends, and reflect on the wondrous birth of Jesus. It can be so easy for Christmas to fly by as we focus on parties, sales, gifts, family get-togethers and more. The GAP ministry wants to encourage you to take some time to be intentional over this season and not waste the special opportunities this time of year affords us to be the church in our communities!
We want to challenge you to look over some of these specific ideas and even come up with some of your own! These are things that you can do on your own, or with your family or a group of friends. You could even help organize your small group or discipleship group to do something together. Whatever you decide to do, we hope that it will be done with the good news of Jesus Christ at the forefront: that the Son of God came to earth as a man to save us from sin and death. Celebrate his birth and make much of Jesus this December by sharing his love and message of salvation through our communities!
- Invite someone to a Northstar December Nights service
- Bake your neighbors Christmas cookies
- Visiting an assisted living facility and maybe sing some Christmas carols!
- Make and hand out “finals care packages” on campus
- Help stock the Northstar Reserve with snacks during finals
- Do something special to bless the people that work at UPS, FedEx, mail delivery, etc.
- Organize a movie or game night and invite some people that don’t normally attend church
- Get some people together for brunch on a Sunday before December Nights, or for dinner after
Resources for service projects…
- Women’s Valley Clinic – in both Blacksburg and Radford – weekly volunteers for specific needs such as: assembling and preparing mailers, working an event or fundraiser, cleaning projects, data entry, sorting donated materials, or facility or computer maintenance. Or you could volunteer weekly as a client advocate or counselor, training is provided for you for these volunteer positions. http://www.prcsupport.com/getting-involved
- Montgomery County Christmas Store – begins with set up in early Nov and they need volunteers for about 3-4 weeks. It’s a temporary store of donated materials for needy families and their children to “shop” for Christmas. Also give food and general need items too. They need help with set up, decorating. And they need escorts to help the family members shop for the items they are allowed. http://www.mcchristmasstore.org/volunteers.shtmln
- Roanoke Rescue Mission uses volunteers for cookies and milk and reading to kids every evening. They also have volunteers help with meals daily. Both of these are eye opening. http://rescuemission.net/Web_pages/Volunteer_opportunities.html
- Fieldstone Church has a food bank they use volunteers, too. http://www.thegivingtreefoodpantry.org/how-can-i-help/
- NRV Wives Behind the Line —police officer wives that do events and support for police officers. https://www.facebook.com/nrvwivesbehindtheline/
- Schools love when groups come in and read to kindergarten classes (see individual school websites to contact administration).
- Blacksburg Baptist has a food pantry that uses volunteers- Interfaith Food Pantry. http://interfaithfoodpantry.acciai.us/volunteer/
- Women’s Resource Center in Radford sometimes uses volunteers. http://www.wrcnrv.org/howYouCanHelp/index.shtml
- Montgomery County DSS has a parents night out once a month and they need volunteers to keep foster kids for foster families to have a break. Contact Erica Thornton in our church. Erica.Thornton@dss.virginia.gov
- Micah’s Backpack uses volunteers every Thursday evening during the school year to pack donated food into bags to deliver to schools for Friday for children of low – income families to take home for the weekend. This is well organized and goes fast and is fun. http://micahsbackpack.org/volunteer/