Last Sunday, our church did something it never does…passed around an offering basket. But this was a REVERSE offering!
Envelopes were filled with $1-$100. We waited until we got home. Then we waited some more. We prayed. We thought. We knew we wanted to get the kids involved. It turned into our dinner table talk as we explained the situation. And stared at the unopened envelopes.
Who should we bless? I jotted down some of the ideas we talked about. Then we opened the envelopes.
I immediately thought of the little boy on the bike in Better Off Dead. “I want my TWO DOLLARS!” That slowed our momentum down. What can we do with just $2? I know people like to “match” their reverse offering or will pool their money together. We really felt the calling to stick to the $2. We wanted our kids to see that it’s not how much you give, it’s that you give. We decided to sleep and pray on it. The next morning over breakfast, my husband, prior Air Force, said he kept thinking of stamps…and the power of a letter. Let’s send some letters to the troops!
With a little research I came across Operation Write Home whose mission is “Supporting our nation’s armed forces by sending blank handmade greeting cards to write home on, as well as cards of gratitude to encourage them”. And, the Godwink here, was that our contact also lived in Kansas. I love “small world” moments.
The power of a stamp. The power of a letter or card. The power of $2. That’s about 4 stamps! In each box of cards, they also include a stack of ”Any Hero” letters, which is what we wrote and the kids drew a picture to go with each letter.
If you are a card maker interested in donating cards, each shipper has listed the following needs, depending on which contact person you send to…Sandy: ”I’m especially in need of thank you, love, and missing you cards. General thinking of you are always welcome.”Caro: ”Miss you and thank you cards, please! Only a few birthday cards, I have tons.”Kris: ”Need general thinking of you and miss you and thank you cards. Thanks!”
I spoke with Kris via email, and she wanted me to pass along this link to print out stationary for children to use.
This experience has our acts of kindness wheels turning and we’ve decided to keep that list above for inspiration. We believe teaching our children to have giving hearts, kind minds, and helpful souls could be the most important lesson we could ever teach them. We learned that “reverse offering” isn’t about receiving money to give, it’s about seeing the gifts you receive when you give.That saying, “It’s better to give than to receive” needs updating…”When you give, both receive.”
Happy Giving! Shelisa