“Our Christmas kindness project: connecting our church, family, and the community we live in.
This year we decided to continue our support to fill up Christmas stockings for St. Mungo’s charity for homeless women.
Every year our church in Bedminister (Bedminister Church of Christ) donates approximately 30-50 Christmas stockings to this charity located in the south of Bristol. We recently relocated to Bristol from Leicester and heard of this outreach program. We wanted our children to learn about kindness and being part of this outreach. I gave both kids $7 each, and we went shopping at a supermarket for gifts. I explained to our kids who the gifts were for. It was really sweet of them to think about what a homeless woman would need. As a family, we donated and filled up two stockings last year (December 2020). It was a memorable year, and I am glad despite the pandemic happening we could still reach out and be part of this. A simple gesture like this teaches the children how it feels to be kind to someone they did not know.
This year I wanted to try and fill up more stockings. I thought we should aim slightly higher and be more ambitious. My initial plan was to help fill up five stockings. I knew that if I wanted to aim higher, I needed a bigger pool of people who would love to be part of this too. We are very blessed as we live in a very close-knit community. We have a Facebook page (BS9 and BS10) in our neighborhood which allows the community to give out, lend and help anyone in need. It helps everyone to be eco-friendly and sustainable, and I really like this idea a lot.
I reached out to this Facebook group and explained that I was looking for gifts for homeless women. They could be fairly new, unused items, which many of us have at home, and instead of being wasted, they could be given to someone in need. I was blown away by the number of people who reached out to my post. We are very blessed to live in a community that has a big heart for giving. Some dropped bags of things at our doorstep. On other occasions, I went to collect some of the gifts myself at their homes.
This gave me an opportunity to meet others who have reached out to me. I met two ladies who were doing something big too. One of them was involved with feeding the homeless on weekends at Bristol City and the other was involved in a food bank for families in need. It was an eye-opener, and we talked about our own projects. This allowed us to help other people too, and it was in fact a barter trade. One lady said she had a few items to donate for the homeless women’s Christmas stockings, and she asked if we would like to donate some food to her food bank. I was pleased we could donate to her food bank and help her out too. One stone killed two birds. It was an awesome feeling that we could integrate and help each other out.
Once we collected all the items, both our kids helped to fill each stocking up. In total, we prepared 12 Christmas stockings for the women at St. Mungo’s. All the stockings have been delivered to our church. Next week, we will be delivering the stockings to the charity, and they will be distributed to the women who live there.
I feel we could still continue to show love and gratitude to people around us despite these unprecedented times as there are many people out there who need kindness, especially during Christmas.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Joy Chong from Bristol, UK. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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