Advent #4: Homeless

 

We just had this awesome opportunity to hop in our car and travel over 10 hours to a country far, far away—Holland.

While in Holland—we were a part of a beautiful wedding, visited Amsterdam, and went to a fun theme park.


It was truly a wonderful time for our family.

BUT…

Do you know what made our children the happiest?  When we pulled back into our driveway and said, “We’re HOME!”

They were thrilled!

They squealed…They talked about all of the things that they loved…They ran from room to room just to see their stuff.

Their home.

Their security.

Their happy place.

Home!

There is most often something very comforting about that place—home. The saying “Home is where the heart is” rings true for many of us out there.

But for many, many, many others—it also does not.

And that’s what we will address today with Advent #4:  Homeless!

I hope that you have a read and find some great ideas for you and your family to do and grow and learn and give with this activity!

God bless,

Brooke

Advent Activity #4:  Homeless

Begin with only addressing this part of the scripture (and tell the kids not to worry—you’ll come back for the rest on a different day)…

“…there was no place for them in the inn.”  Luke 2:7b

Kids, did you know that when Jesus was born, his parents were staying outside—in a stable!  His very first bed was a manger.

Now you can talk about a time when you have been to a barn or a petting zoo—how did it look?  Smell?  Was it clean?  Where were the animals?  Where was their food?  Would they want to sleep out there with them?  Would they be afraid?  How would they feel?  Would they feel clean?  Have they ever stepped in cow pies?  Do they think a horse trough is clean?   Do they think the barn is loud or peaceful at night?  Do they think there are a lot of insects that would try and bite them?

Tell the children that Mary and Joseph had their baby in a stable—and laid him in a manger to sleep!  Can they imagine?  It was probably a lot like the above discussion (emphasize that with the kids)…

And yet—it was exactly as God had intended.  For Jesus to be born in humble circumstances because he was not a king of gold and jewels—he was a king of people.  All people—everywhere!

Did you know that there are many people around us that also do not have a home?  They are homeless.

Did you know that Jesus loves them so much?!  He does!  He loves them as much as he loves you and me.

So today we are going to do a bunch (or a few—up to you, parents 😉 ) of fun activities where we will get to show the homeless or lonely how much God loves them!

First up:  The Sock of Love!

My husband and I started a foundation for the homeless over a decade ago.  It includes, only to name a couple things, a weekly soup kitchen as well as multiple clothing closets.  And there are always 3 essential needs in any clothing closet:  Clean underwear; shoes without holes; and clean socks.

There are never enough!

So today, you will get to do something amazing—and use a HUGELY needed item to do it with—a sock!

You are going to build a giveaway sock with your kids.

You will need:  A clean pair of adult socks per child in your family (so they can all build their own); items to go in that sock.

Here is what I found on Pinterest:  The Sock

April 2013 028

But—as a founder of an international organization that helps the homeless (Rescue the Forgotten), I would omit a few of the above and add a few other items (in my opinion):

Add:  a water bottle—always needed; one dollar for needs (the mom also mentions this in the writing); gum or mints; granola bar/s; a snickers bar; Chapstick, Kleenex

Take away:  lotion (unless there is extra room), sunscreen, soap (if they have opportunity to use a sink, most likely there will be soap)

In any case, your children are going to really have a great time stuffing one sock full of essential items—make sure that they make a card to put inside, too (card ideas coming up).  It will be a great family activity that will literally “Bless someone’s socks off!”

(what do you do with the other sock—double the sock back to front with the first stuffed sock to keep all the items locked in)

Have the kids put their socks in a family bag in the car and then you are ready for when you see someone on the side of the street or in a parking lot.  Someone without a home…go and love on them!  But don’t forget your card…

Next up:  Making a Card of Love for the Homeless or Forgotten

Cardboard Roll Heart

Heart-Stamp-2

Did you know that when you give a homeless person or a child in an orphanage a card, they most likely will treasure the gift?

They will.  Especially if it includes a photo. It is a ray of sunshine in their very difficult world that shows them someone out there was thinking of them.  That is rare and valuable—just like the card you will give out with the sock.

If you click on the above link, you will find a fun way to make a heart stamp—which is always fun—with a household common item:  the empty toilet paper roll!

All you need is a toilet paper roll, paper, and paint, a message of love, and the time it takes to make the cards!

It’s actually the perfect transition activity after they are done stuffing the sock, they can go and make the card (so it can dry) while the others are still working on their socks.

While the cards are drying, it’s time for activity number 3—which will always be a favorite for your kids!

Following the Card:  Bird Feeders

Cheerios-DIY-Bird-Feeders-simple-crafts-for-kids

We live in Poland.  It’s a cold country.  And there is something really fun we see every winter—Bird Seed!  It’s everywhere.  Every store is selling it.  Everyone is buying it.

Why?

Because in the winter, in a frozen land, it’s a hard life for birds.

I grew up in a desert (Arizona) and did not realize this until we moved to this frozen land.

So you can also talk with your kids that as much as God loves you and me, he also loves the sparrows in the air…

And to help them out this winter—you can make them a bird feeder (click on link)!

You won’t believe how it easy it will be:  Pipe cleaner or floral wire, cheerios or loop cereal, and ribbon for hanging it on the tree!

Voile!  You’ve done it.

And just like you will see the person that will receive your sock smile, you will see your children smile as they watch birds in your front or backyard enjoy their new feeders.

Believe me—I have a 3-year-old that LOVES watching birds every day outside of our windows.

Last Activity for the Night:  Heart Fingerprint Ornaments

Fingerprint-heart-ornaments-red

What you’ve done for the night is create a LOT of love that has come straight from your hearts—and put together with loving hands.

Therefore, a fun reminder for your family of your time spent on serving others could be for you to create family heart fingerprint ornaments (found on Pinterest).  Super easy and great fun for the Christmas tree (or even gifts to be given to family members like those grandparents that can never get enough of their grandkids!  Click on the link above and have fun!

End the evening praying with your children.

Thank God for the home and security you, as a family, have.

Pray for continued protection of your family.

Pray for those without homes.  That they will remain safe, people will remember them in love, and that they will stay warm.  That food may fill their bellies, and that they will get the help they need.

And pray that God will place the perfect people in your path to receive your Socks of Love!

God bless, my friends.  I hope you’ll have fun as a family remembering that our Savior, Jesus Christ, was born humbly without a home because he is the King of People!

I look forward to sharing a couple more Advent activities with you this week.  Keep your eyes open for:  The Nativity (will include Bingo games, snow family globes, and footprint manger) and The Candy Cane!

Next week we’ll look at:  The Angel; The Shepherds; The Wise Men.

Until then…pa!

***

Fitting that also trending today with this post is our foundation’s page where men that were once formerly homeless—men like you will be giving your gift socks to, are now serving others.  Friends—homelessness is not a life sentence!  It’s merely a station where no one wants to remain.

God bless as you journey with your family into this amazing act of love!

Enjoy this read, as well:

30 Tons of Food Given by the Homeless to the Not Homeless.  Confused Much?

 

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