Our Shoebox Christmas project for Enemy Swim Day School (ESDS) has a new name and a new look. Several factors worked together for this change:
- We are the only Shoebox delivery that goes into the classroom so gifts need to be nearly identical.
- The emptying, re-sorting and re-packing of donations from other churches was extremely time consuming and required more time each year.
- We still ended up purchasing items to equalize the gifts.
- Spirit Lake Ministries was 1,000 Shoebox gifts short this past year and we did not want to take away from them.
The Missions Committee was uncertain if we could sustain this ministry as we were doing it, particularly as it comes on the heels of Coats for Kids. Because we highly value our relationship with ESDS we contacted them to see if there was something we could do another time of the year. Their responses indicated that 70% of the kids really need this event in order for the kids to have a gift experience. After prayer, thought, and sharing the need, we found a surprise partner to assist NHUMC in continuing to deliver Christmas gifts.
Through what can only be Spirit-led guidance, we have just recently partnered with the Congregational Church in Columbia so together we will provide the gifts. This allows us to shop by grade and send any Shoebox gifts that come in up to Spirit Lake Ministries. This year we are experimenting with packing the gifts in gift bags under the new name: ESDS Christmas Express. This also means no shoeboxes or wrapping is required.
If you want to be a part of purchasing gifts, there are specific items listed on clipboards in the foyer. We would appreciate you initialing/signing up for the items you wish to provide.
The list is purposefully filled with easy-to-find, specific items and numbers. You may also contribute money notated for Christmas Express. Our youth group has agreed to help us shop for some of the little extra things we would like to include. In early December we may need some packaging help.