Fa la la la la, la la la…what? Can you believe that it’s already the Holiday Season!? Every year, the holidays seem to slowly creep up earlier and earlier on us. The pumpkin spice candles are out and the hot cocoa is being served. How exciting to see the holiday lights going up and the holiday cheer spreading all around! In some areas of the country, it’s actually beginning to look a lot like Christmas. As the shops are filled with holiday discounts gearing up for holiday gift shopping, we encourage you to embrace the holiday cheer and walk into the holidays with the spirit of giving.
This year Azure Hills Church is collecting diapers and toiletries for our annual Holiday Drive, (ending December 15th). You have to get involved! What better way to celebrate the holidays than to say thank you to Jesus for His love and grace by sharing our blessings with our community? Trust me, you want to be included in the giving back this year! Not only do we partner together as a part of God’s movement of love and compassion but also have the opportunity to bring peace to someone’s home.
During our event on October 6, Children Separated at the Border, there was a Yale University study presented that low-income mothers who do not have enough diapers for their babies and toddlers are more likely to struggle with depression and anxiety than other low-income mothers. For this reason, our co-head elder for outreach, Jenn Maxwell made contacts with organizations to help with Diaper Insecurity for these mothers. We are collecting diapers sizes four through seven and pull-ups. These items will be assisting mothers participating in two organizations KIND (Kids in Need of Defense:US/Mexico Border), and IRC (Inland Regional Center: San Bernardino). KIND protects unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone to ensure that no child appears in court without an attorney. The IRC serves low-income families with developmental disabilities in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.
Along with collecting diapers, our very own Rachel Garcia will be collecting toiletries to serve migrant workers in San Bernardino. Rachel has been serving this community for many years with weekly Tuesday lunches. The past couple of years instead of the lunches, she has led out annual drives to help support this community. This year Azure Hills will collect shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, socks and hotel toiletries to support these migrant workers and their families.
So as we begin to shop, eat our holiday treats and listen to the catchy tunes, let us be cheerful givers and remember what Paul shares, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).’”
Join the movement. Share the joy. Make a difference.
by Pastor Jessie A. López