Most of you know about our annual Christmas project, when we distribute Christmas gifts to Pastors and their families, as well as to special needs kids and orphans. If you don't already know about this, here is the Gifts for Gracias page on our website, where you can get all the information about how to participate in this project.
Usually, I try to get this information out in July, or August at the latest, so I am really behind this year! We are already expecting this to be a difficult year for collecting donations, because of the economic conditions. Last year we had a hard time filling our container, and had to delay departure several times so as to avoid shipping a partially-filled container - and the Christmas gift deliveries to people in Honduras were not completed until March! We are hoping to do better this year, and boy-oh-boy do we need your help!
Here's the big plan, for transporting the gifts to Honduras this year:
Gifts and donated used clothing will be collected in two locations - in Walkersville Maryland and in Sarasota Florida. In mid-November Allen is planning to fly up to Florida, and rent a large truck. He will pick up the gifts in Florida, and head north. In North Carolina, Morningstar Ministries has agreed to contribute gifts from their annual gift-making project, so he will collect those, and head to Maryland. The gifts from Florida and North Carolina will be added to those collected in Maryland, and the shipping container should (hopefully!) be filled before the end of November, and be on its way to Honduras.
I'll be blunt. Last year, we didn't have enough gifts. We were especially lacking in family gifts, which are specifically the items which represent a gift to a pastor and his wife. We had to open the gifts we received, and spread out the contents to more people. We had enough children's gifts, thanks to the very generous donation from MorningStar Ministries of 1100 childrens gift boxes. If it had not been for their help, we would not have had enough children's gifts, either. We also received a much smaller amount of used clothing than normal, and the quality of the clothing was significantly poorer than we've ever seen before. People are, I assume, not replacing their clothing as quickly, and are reselling rather than donating much of their better unneeded clothing.
We can't expect people to do more than they can do - so we are hoping, instead, to get the word out to more people and more churches, so that we can still bless the poor rural pastors, the orphans, and the special needs families here in Lempira.
Can you help? Can you create a gift, or help spread the word about this project? Can you donate some good used clothing, jackets, blankets, etc? Thanks so much, for however you can participate!