As Christmas fast approaches, the “Season to Care” is upon us! One of the most inspiring highlights during this time of year that Amy and I are grateful for is the opportunity to give back to those in our community.
All throughout the Scriptures, God is passionate about changing lives, and especially through giving to meet personal needs. In fact, Jesus teaches us that it is far more rewarding to give than to receive:
“For we must always cherish the words of our Lord Jesus, who taught, ‘Giving brings a far greater blessing than receiving.'”
Acts 20:35b TPT
We deeply believe in changing lives through caring for and meeting the personal needs of friends, extended family, and those in our communities. Our annual BACC Toy Drive provides us such an opportunity to make this time of year a “Season to Care,” helping multitudes of families and youth throughout the greater Bay Area. For the past 15 years, we’ve given over 18,000 toys and gift cards to foster kids and other children who are often overlooked and displaced, making our toy drive one of the largest for foster kids in Northern California! This has led to building incredible partnerships with local organizations and community heroes. We recently heard from several of our Toy Drive community partners and agencies about the tremendous personal and life-changing impact of our collective giving. Here are just a few examples of how God continues moving to inspire and instill hope:
From Hector Ramos, Coordinator, Horizons Unlimited, San Francisco
“The BACC is amazing, and as someone who personally grew up with parents who provided a foster home in Argentina for so many youths, I understand just how much impact your giving makes for so many families and kids in need. It brightens their spirits in such difficult times like these. I had several families comment on the gifts and toys. One family, in particular, said that they were so thankful and moved by the gifts because the kids had just lost their grandmother to Covid and the gifts lifted their spirits. Thank you so much for everything!”
From Dave Channer, CEO, A Better Way
“Where I’m most deeply grateful this year and inspired is again with the giving that has come from BACC and your entire community to help Christmas dreams come true for the children and families we serve at A Better Way. As I said last year, A Better Way and our mission is much more than the people who work for us. It’s all the people that make our services possible, and it’s the change that we make in the lives of the people we serve.
You are all a huge part of that by being a part of our year-end toy drive by keeping us in your hearts, by sending a message of love to all of the Better Way kids and families. It’s been a tough year as you can guess. It’s midway through December and we’re already seeing your love and efforts pour in. I just wanted to say thank you so, so much. We love you all and wish you all a very happy holiday season.”
From Florence Eriksson, Director, Oakland Food Works
“At Oakland Food Works we are excited about meeting needs where there are gaps in care – for those who are in need but may be overlooked, neglected, or missed. I’m so excited this year that the BACC Toy Drive is able to meet the need for one such group of 18-23 old young adults who were formerly unhoused and are now part of Oakland’s Tiny Homes Village.
Just this past week one of the young men was so excited to get a new pair of shoes. He said he has never owned more than one pair of shoes in his life. So getting a second pair of shoes was like making a Christmas dream come true for him.”
These are just a few of the many stories of families and lives touched and transformed through our Toy Drive.
Let’s decide to make these upcoming weeks of the holiday season a time where each of us chooses to be a light by serving and giving to others, starting with this weekend’s Toy Drive. We can illuminate the lives of those all around us through doing good and opening their eyes to see God moving. In this way we will inspire hope and brighten their outlook for the new year!
You are the world’s light— a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:14-15 TLB
As we enjoy this holiday season together, take a moment, a day, or a walk with a friend to be a light for someone else. Remember that “It’s always greater to give!”
Till next week,
Ray & Amy Kim