Christmas Gift-Giving Opportunities

The Service and Mission Ministry Team is once again happy to offer opportunities this Christmas season to serve those who are in need in our community. As you provide for your own family and friends, please share a portion of all that you have received with someone less fortunate.

CHRISTMAS FOOD BASKETS – As the holiday season approaches, many families in our community face the grim realities of unemployment, homelessness, and financial insecurity. The Service and Mission Ministry Team is asking for your help in supporting the Christmas Food Basket Program to benefit needy families. Your assistance is needed to supplement the supplies of our local West Side Food Bank . We invite you to contribute food, such as canned vegetables and fruit, canned soup, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cereal, canned ham, Christmas candy (candy canes, etc. for the children) and non-perishable desserts. Food items can be left in Fellowship Hall or in the Narthex.

In addition, we hope to provide baskets to 100 families. Each basket also will contain a gift certificate to be used to purchase perishable food items. We would greatly appreciate any monetary contribution you can make to help us reach our goal. Members of the Service and Ministry Team will be in the Narthex and outside Fellowship Hall on November 27, December 4 and 11 to accept donations. Donations may also be mailed to the church office. Please make your check payable to COCU and indicate “Christmas Food Baskets” in the notation section. On behalf of Church & Community, and the individuals it serves, we thank you for your generosity.

ANGEL TREE – The Church of Christ Uniting is again a proud participant in the Angel Tree Ministry (ATM) program. This partnership with Prison Fellowship Ministry provides comfort and ministers to children having a parent who is in prison at the Christmas season. On the first Sunday of Advent, November 27, a Christmas tree on display in the Narthex will be decorated with Angel ornaments listing the names, ages, sizes and Christmas gift wishes of 25 children. We invite you to select one (or more) of the Angels from the tree, as you are able, and purchase at least one gift of $20 to $25 for each child. However, let your conscience be your guide on the number of gifts you purchase and the amount to spend. Some of these children may receive only these gifts this Christmas. When you select your Angel, please remember to complete the attached white contact Angel form—with your name, phone number and the Angel’s code number—and leave it in the basket provided on the table next to the tree. Attach the yellow Angel form to the gift. If you purchase more than one gift, please group your gifts together and put the child’s name and code on each package. The wrapped gifts should be left under the tree in the Narthex by Sunday, December 11, or in the Church office no later than Friday, December 16, at 12:00 noon. We are also looking for volunteers to help deliver the gifts. Please join us for a very rewarding Christmas experience! For further information or to volunteer, please contact the church office, or speak to a member of the Service and Mission Ministry Team.

MADDY’S GIFT – The Service and Mission Ministry Team joyfully offers another opportunity for sharing God’s love through gift giving this Christmas season. We will join the parents of Madison Benjamin, as they honor their daughter’s memory, with a toy drive that will benefit children who are hospitalized over the holidays at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. Madison, the great-granddaughter of our own COCU members, Virginia and Charles Dancheck, was born with a life threatening condition. Expected to live only one year, Madison survived until she was four years old. In her memory, her parents created this toy drive that they lovingly call “Maddy’s Gift.” Please bring an unwrapped toy, and place it in the box in the Narthex no later than Sunday, December 11.