Monday, December 15, 2008


On Saturday, the teens in our church youth group took $1,300 raised and went to Wal-Mart to shop for other children. One of our church's mission is supporting The Council of Churches' Toy Store. It's like Toys for Tots and other children's Christmas gift outreach programs.

The teens, split into groups of 3, took their carts and budgets and shopped like mad. Our assignment was to purchase for ages 13-18. I was lucky enough this year to go along. The teens have done this for several years, but I've never gone with them.

The other adult and I stood in the electronics department, next to the Apple iPods and watched the teens roll up and down the aisles, laughing, giggling and screaching about their finds. I have never seen teens so excited to give back to someone else. They've served food to the homeless (and not just during Christmas), worked on building projects for a local abused women's shelter … things like that. They have always appreciated and enjoyed the experiences.

But nothing compares to buying toys for kids. Nothing. The teens take off work to do this. They skip scouts to do this. They make it work because they love it. They know what kids their own age like. I'm glad I got to be a part.

I didn't help pick out gifts, although I wanted to, but this is their deal. I was excited when I saw they bought some serious Nerf guns, a Star Wars AT-TE, and some mp3 players. Very cool and very exciting.

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