For many, the Christmas holiday season has become a time of colored lights, fat Santas, wire reindeer and blow-up dragons on suburban lawns.
Not for the children who attend Seventh-day Adventist schools. Christmas for these students includes the lights and a few reindeer, but the big story is about God giving His best to us, and us giving our best back to Him.
Emerald Christian Academy is a good illustration of this.
Emerald Christian Academy has a long-standing tradition of students giving to other kids. Every December the students bring in donations to help buy gifts for kids at the Safe Center, a local agency that provides a temporary home for kids who are going through tough times.
The Center provides the school with two gift ideas for each of the kids who are “living in.” The ideas include the child’s age and interests, and sometimes adds a request for a specific set of Legos or other dream toy.
This year The Center provided ideas for 15 kids. The Emerald students added up their donations, hoping that there was enough to buy everything the 15 kids were hoping for. Usually, $25 is budgeted per kid, but this year Emerald kids brought in donations totally $645! That made it possible for the students to purchase $45 in gifts for each kid at The Safe Center! You can only imagine the excitement as the Emerald students loaded onto the bus for a shopping trip to Target.
The Emerald kids shopped in teams of one older student and a couple smaller “brothers and sisters.” The shopping groups were able to buy both items on their wish lists and sometimes even add something extra. The big smiles on the Emerald Christian Academy students show the powerful impact of Giving at Christmas.