Oregon City, Oregon:
For 5 years we have been delivering a Christmas jar to someone in need. This has been a highlight of the season for our entire family. What I love most about the Christmas jar is that it is something I see daily, so I'm always thinking about Christmas, or rather, Christ.
We bought a jar that has a lid that you deposit the coins in and it counts it, which has been fun for my children to see the amount growing and growing until the day we deliver. It has been inspiring too seeing my children deposit their own change, contributing to the gift.
This year, I was unsure who should receive the jar, and was directed to ask our local elementary school counselor if she had any idea of a family that might be in need. When I told her who I was and what my desire was she said, "I just finished reading that book for the first time." She said she would think about which family and let me know. The next day I received an email from her and she told me there was a single mom of two children, and her youngest that goes to school, a 1st grader, just found out she had cancer, and so she thought this would be a wonderful gift to her. I decided that was perfect, and that she, the counselor, should deliver the jar along with the book. I thought it might be fun for the counselor to deliver it right after having just read the book.... Why not share the fun, right?
I later heard the mother receiving the jar was extremely grateful. I will most likely never know what has happened with the recipients of the jars we fill, but that is not important. Knowing it was a blessing in their life, and that me and my family could help give to someone else is enough for me. There is nothing quite as sweet a feeling as serving others and helping to bring joy into someone's life.