This is the highlight of our Summer at Initial Outfitters…Charlie’s Christmas!
With 12 lunchrooms and an orphanage now being fully sponsored by Initial Outfitters, we have over 450 children that we would love to take care of this Christmas! So we thought we ought to get an early start!
If you are wondering “What is Charlie’s Christmas?”, well…it is a wonderful event! Each year in our lunchrooms, all of the children, along with their families, are invited to a special Christmas celebration at the church that runs each lunchroom. Not only is there a fabulous Christmas dinner served, but there is also a special Christmas program presented – often by the children in our lunchrooms. Each child – brothers and sisters included – receives a wrapped Christmas gift. For many, this is the only gift they receive. In addition, each family takes home a box of the staples needed to make their own Christmas dinner. With a donation of only $20 per child, all of this is made possible!
The gifts for the children are things that every little girl and boy love – dolls, cars and trucks, sports balls, etc. Things that our children have multiples of, yet these children dream of having. It is a moment of sheer joy!
It is a moment unlike what we are used to or would expect, too. As the gifts are handed out, each child holds their gift in their lap…wrapped…waiting…until everyone has their gift! Then, they all hold the gift over their head, high in the air! Making sure that everyone has one. Finally, when everyone has their gift…they tear into them! Sheer joy all around!
One of Jim’s favorite moments on a mission trip to our lunchrooms in Cuernavaca, Mexico happened when he gave a new Matchbox car to a shy, quiet little boy that he had bonded with. Jim had noticed that this little boy loved Matchbox cars, because he had already shown Jim his prized possession – an old, worn out Matchbox car, paint peeled to almost grey, obviously a favorite toy. Overjoyed with his gift, the little boy ran off to play with his new treasure. Later, Jim asked him to show me his new car and his old one…but he could only show me his new one. Puzzled, we asked him where his old one was. He proudly told us that he had given it to his friend who didn’t have one.
A Matchbox car. They cost $1. It made both of these boys’ day…probably their summer.
What we provide with Charlie’s Christmas is so much more still. It is a chance for the children to participate in a Christmas program; for them to feel the pride of doing something special in front of an audience of family and friends; to receive a wrapped gift and experience the wonder of what’s inside and the joy of discovering and receiving; and most of all, the opportunity to share God’s love with these children, their families, and the community.
Together, we can do this! 450 children sponsored at $20 each. Our goal is to have this taken care of by our National Conference in July! That gives us about 10 weeks.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! This is your chance to truly make a difference, one child at a time!