Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 15:27 Wednesday, 08 December 2010 15:26
While many young people will be gathering to celebrate this season with tasty food, hip music and fabulous gift exchanges, others are helping those less fortunate and want to use their parties to bring purpose to the lives of others.
The Youth Worker Pulse, a publication of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries recently published same great ideas for how young people can bring purpose to their parties:
Feed Other First
Before you sit down to have a Christmas party meal, make dinner and take it to a local shelter or halfway house. Or take your youth group to prepare meals at the local soup kitchen. You can also bake Christmas cookies, package them up in nice cookie tins, and deliver them to shut-ins and elderly people in nursing homes. After feeding others, then sit down to enjoy a meal together as a family.
Give to Others First
Instead of having a gift exchange, contact the local shelter or children’s hospital to see if there are families with wish lists. Then, as a youth group, go shopping to fulfill the needs of some of the families. Bring items back to wrap or prepare for delivery. Then after delivering the gifts, go grab a bite to eat as a group and discuss how you can contribute throughout the year.
Be With Others First
There are those who do not have family or friends to join at a Christmas party. So take the Christmas joy and fellowship out into your community. Have a Traveling Party… Ask your parish priests about families and individuals who could use a friendly face, a warm greeting, and a few Christmas carols.
Other ways to have a Christmas Party with Purpose
v Ask everyone to bring a bag of canned goods to take to the local food pantry.
v Connect with your parish Philoptochos or other local philanthropic organizations to organize a Christmas fundraising event. Funds can go to any charity or cause you can imagine… IOCC, OCMC, Feeding America, Make-A-Wish Foundation, etc,
v Gather together and make cards/icons to send to those who serve in the Military OR to send to missionaries throughout the world.
And here at FOCUS North America we also want to encourage young and old to remember those in your cities, neighborhoods and even your churches who may need extra attention and care. There are many worthy organizations doing the GOOD work of showing Christ to others. Check out the FOCUS North America website for ministries in your area!