How can we celebrate the Christmas season with JOY?
Joy is always the focus of Christmas in our house. We have made it a family tradition. We keep asking our children to think of Joy as J.O.Y - Jesus first, Others next, then Yourself. To consider everything in this way. Putting Jesus at the forefront of everything no matter the circumstances. And this is my hope for all our children. As Christmas approaches we get our children to focus on the second element of JOY. That is the 'O', the Other. After all, Jesus called us to love one another, to love our neighbour. This year we will be focusing on a cause that is a lot closer to our hearts.
As you may be aware, we are a family that has been blessed to be able to foster and be a family to children that need one. As we walk into this world of dysfunction and heart ache, we wish that there was more that we could do. At present there are about 160 children everyday in Perth waiting for a safe place to spend the night. They wait in offices, in police stations, and in hospitals. The situation they face is of no fault of their own. While they wait, these children often have nothing of their own, just the clothes on their backs.
When I hear this news, I want to spread JOY and love to these kids. I want them to know that they are loved and that someone is caring for them. I want them to know that they are not just a number, but someone special that someone sees as worthwhile. Even if that someone is someone that they will never meet. This is where the Care Bag initiative is amazing.
Care Bags are backpacks that are packed with new essential items that are given to a child when they first come into care. They may not seem to contain much but one thing they do contain is love and time. Care Bags are made by the community, not the Department, and they are often the only thing a child will own when they come into care. They give dignity and they allow a child to know that there are people out in the community thinking of them when they may feel invisible. I hope it is an initiative that you all will contribute to this year.
I was asked to deliver this idea at the assembly last Tuesday. I was doing ok till I looked out and realised that there were about 170 little faces looking at me. As I looked at them, I realised that this is the amount of children EVERY NIGHT waiting for a safe place to go to in Perth. I could not imagine that it is that many little faces waiting to feel safe and loved every night. It is that many kids without any clothes to wear the next day, without PJ's to sleep in that night, and without even a toothbrush to brush their teeth. So with that in mind, I hope that God places it on your heart to show JOY to these kids this Christmas. I hope that as a school that we can do a Care Bag Drive - involving our children in the process and teaching them the message of JOY this Christmas season.
If you would like to donate items towards putting a Care bag together or even help put together a whole care bag yourself, these are the essentials:
• Toothbrushes (We already have so many so please purchase other items)
• Comb or hairbrush, hair ties
• T shirt x 2
• Shorts x 2
• Underwear x 2
• Socks x 2
• Soft toy like a teddy
• Comfort Item (Blanket, journal, toy, colouring book)
• Backpack (Can be purchased from Kmart for $4)
Please see the image for more information or contact reception.