You might be wondering what happened when the Bags of Love got delivered? Here’s what one volunteer, Sue Powell, witnessed…
One of the most defining characteristics of a child is their uninhibited expression of emotions. While this can be a temper tantrum of sheer frustration, I was privileged enough to watch the absolute joy and unrestrained delight on the faces of some little children at Sisters Incorporated.
Sisters Inc is a place of safety for moms and kids who are trying to change their lives and escape from challenging, tempting or dangerous situations. A small Christmas party was held for these moms and kids, and ‘Bags of Love’ were given to each child. These bags have been filled by people who have taken the time, money and effort to bless those less fortunate than themselves during the festive season.
As these bags were handed out, I found myself speechless as I watched the blatant pleasure clearly evident on so many faces. One little boy pulled a ball out of his bag, and just stood there throwing it up in the air and catching it – a huge smile on his face. Another was on his hands and knees driving his car all over the floor. I can hardly describe his pleasure as he pulled it back and realized that the car could drive on its own! Another little girl was having fun ‘dressing up’ as she pulled out a little pink T-shirt, pink slip slops and a sun hat. All gifts were considered with so much delight and packed in and out of their bags many, many times. Each child wanted to show off their stash and many of them came to show me what was in their gift bags with infectious delight!
The moms were delighted at their children’s joy. Many of these ladies have enough of a financial struggle to survive, and seldom get the opportunity to spoil their children. They were so grateful that someone had made the effort to make sure that their children experienced some of the joy common to so many kids all over the world on Christmas morning.
Sometimes, in the rush of end of term and the chaos of the shops, it seems an effort to go and find another special present for a Bag of Love or Santa’s shoebox. But next year will be different for me – I’ll be able to picture those little faces and the absolute delight so evident there! I’ll remember the appreciation of their moms, who knew that they couldn’t provide those gifts themselves and were so grateful that someone else had blessed their child. And for this year, this scene of delight is also a reminder of the completely undeserved gift that we received many years ago – a gift that we didn’t earn, and couldn’t possibly buy for ourselves, but one that God in His mercy and love provided for us. I’m sure that my Christmas will be richer this year with this fresh reminder of how the birth of Jesus is our unexpected and undeserved ‘Bag of Love’.
– Sue is part of a team of women from Common Ground Church who conduct a bible study with the ladies at Sisters Inc every week. As a mom of two little boys, she can relate to the moms at Sisters Inc and understands their desire to do, and to be, the best that they can for their kids.