Our partnership with Toy's for Tot's is in full swing, serving opportunities are daily and the open doors to show God's love continue to show up even when we least expect it. Below is one story of God's love reaching those in need. Thank you to Foundation Church member Max Mooney for sharing a testimony of how he was impacted by his time serving our community.
I had been greeting at the door for most of my time helping with Toys for Tots. This was my second shift and they seemed a little short staffed. After a bit, they recruited me away from greeting at the door to fulfill orders.
I'd been bustling around for the rest of my shift looking for all sorts of gifts for all sorts of kids, from 16 years old to an 8 month old baby. This was super fun because every bag I filled felt like shopping for a birthday party... except the gifts were already paid for and there was always another bag to fill. During my shift, I was constantly reminded of the nature of God to give His children good gifts (Matt. 7:11) as I filled each bag with a gift I picked out for each child. This was quite fulfilling. I remembered myself at 9 years old and how excited I would have been to get a foam lightsaber or a really sweet telescope. I also thought of my four year old daughter Evelyn and how excited she gets when she opens a gift that contains those incredibly addictive Shopkins.
The day was wrapping up, and I got to serve the final family that came through: a single mom with four kids ranging from 16 to 4 years old. Now, when you help fulfill bags, the parent is asked what their kids like or would possibly want. This helps to make sure you're not flying blind as a bag-filler. There were many mainstays - superheroes, legos, barbies and the like. But at the bottom of this list was the four year old girl, the same age as my daughter. And next to her age there were a few interests - shopkins, my little pony, and bike? were all listed. My daughter shares all of those interests.
I headed downstairs to fulfill all of the other kid's orders, but my heart is focused on making sure this little girl gets something that's going to make her day. I get all the other orders fulfilled and I'm searching for the smaller present for the girl (each child gets a "big" and a "little" present). I found a little shopkins set, which I knew she'd be excited about. It happened to be the last one. Score! I was looking around for a big present and there are a variety of oversized dolls available to choose from that were an obvious choice. Every girl loves dolls. That's gotta be in the Bible somewhere. I looked down and saw the "bike?" written next to her age. Well, there certainly weren't any bikes in this room. And when my shift started there weren't any bikes any where. But I figured I should at least check the other room again.
Lo and behold, as I walked through the doorway, there sat a MY LITTLE PONY BICYCLE. Like the Lord Himself had placed it there waiting for this little girl. My thoughts flickered back to my daughter, who absolutely loves riding her bike. I knew this bike was going to be a game changer in this little girl's world. I can still remember my first bike.
I took it upstairs and called for the girl's mom. She came over and it just made her heart melt. Tears of joy started streaming down her face. She was overwhelmed. See, she hadn't always been in a place of need. She told us that only two years ago she dropped off donations at Toys For Tots. But life had taken its toll and money was super tight. She wasn't sure how she was going to get her children anything for the holidays. Then she remembered Toys For Tots. Not only were we able to fulfill a need for gifts in general, but we were able to give a perfect gift. A good gift. One that reflects the heart of our Father.
Toys for Tots needs your help. I hope you'll consider taking some time out of your day this season to serve others.