October 1, 2019
Giving Back Can Be So Much Fun!
Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the Men's NetWork is encouraging men's groups to help somebody out during the holidays. Different from the annual April WORK DAY event, "GIVES BACK" is a chance for guys to "pay it forward" in response to the blessings they receive from God.
With this service event, there's a fun contest with three winning categories: 1) most creative service idea; 2) most community-oriented project; 3) best "holiday-themed" dressed group. Each group winner receives a $150 Amazon gift card. Also, participants will receive a new Men's NetWork stocking cap or one of our regular hats.
To get you going, here's a half dozen ideas to consider.
1. Giving Back Free Car Winterizing Services and Kits
There's nothing that says "practical" like free car services, especially during the hectic holiday season. Here your group can secure donations, collect items, pack kits, and serve at the event. Freebies can include checking antifreeze and oil levels (topping off fluids), checking tire pressure (filling tires with a portable air compressor), checking battery cables, and cleaning posts.
Helpful items to distribute are antifreeze, oil, windshield wiper fluid, tire pressure gauges, ice scrapers, jumper cables, emergency roadside kits, bags of kitty litter or sand (for better traction), and LHM's 2019 Advent devotions: Call His Name Jesus.
2. Giving Back to a Men's or Women's Shelter
These safe havens have an ongoing need for materials for adults and children using their services. Your group can help meet this shortage by donating essential items in high demand. To do this, your men's group can break into different teams to solicit donations, collect items, pack kits, and distribute goods to the shelter.
Items can be packed in clear plastic bags or grocery sacks. Include things like shampoo, bars of soap, disposable razors, shaving cream, feminine hygiene products, toothbrushes and toothpaste, lip balm, combs, hats, gloves, sweaters, coats, blankets, toys, coloring books, crayons, socks, LHM's illustrated kids' booklets, and Advent devotions.
3. Giving Back to a Nursing Home or Retirement Center
These folks are truly appreciative when visitors drop by. Think about putting together Christmas stockings for them. You can fill them with items from any dollar-type store. After you've passed them out, why not sing a few Christmas carols as you stroll the hallways, wishing residents a Merry Christmas and God's blessings for the New Year.
Stockings can be filled with mints and hard candy, homemade snacks, packets of hot chocolate, tea or coffee, slipper socks, skin lotion, lip balm, and a few of LHM's Project Connect booklets and Advent devotions.
4. Giving Back to a Veterans Hospital
Over the course of their lives, these dedicated men and women have often paid a high physical price for their active-duty military service through injuries, disabilities, and various traumatic stress disorders. You can convey a small token of your indebtedness to them for their time in the Armed Forces with a visit and the gift of a handmade care package. Gift packs for vets are fun to put together.
Care packages can include items like crossword puzzle books, beef jerky, paperbacks, chocolate, candy bars, an easy-to-read Bible, hot sauce, trail mix, a signed Christmas card with a handwritten note, and some LHM Project Connect booklets and you guessed it—LHM's Advent devotions.
5. Giving Back to Kids Who Need Toys
What's more traditional at Christmas than giving kids toys? These may be low-income or disadvantaged kids at homeless shelters, long-term hospitals, or those in a family or two that you know will not have much of a Christmas this year in terms of presents. Once you determine the kinds of gifts you'll get based on the age and gender of each child, you group can get to work.
Doing a kids' gift giveaway will require selecting and collecting toys (many second-hand shops for children have excellent toys in great shape). You can then gift wrap the items (spouses and girlfriends may be handy here). Also, include a Christmas card along with some illustrated kids' booklets and Advent devotions from LHM. Then just deliver to families.
6. Giving Back a Christmas Dinner Basket
Of course, with Christmas comes the traditional meal, which is always a sizeable expense. For many, of course, it's simply not even possible on their budget. Here your men's group can gather the ingredients for a truly special dinner and deliver these goodies right to the front door of the families receiving them.
Meal baskets can include a frozen turkey or ham, boxed stuffing, canned cranberry sauce, canned vegetables and fruit, a can or jar of gravy, pumpkin pie (or filling and crust), macaroni and cheese (for the kids), an aluminum roaster pan, a pie tin (if prepared pie isn't included), and a printed copy of LHM's Advent devotions. You might even want to toss in the video Bible study, The Real St. Nick: Leader, Legend or Lie.
Be looking for our registration page and more information in the days ahead.
MD, Pasadena: Galilee Men's Bible Study
April 13, 2019 - December 13, 2019
Host Church: Galilee Lutheran Church
Newest Men's NetWork Groups:
St. Paul's Men
West Falls, NY
Trinity Lutheran Thursday Morning Bible Study
Fraternity of Men
Flower Mound, TX