Christmas Hampers – ‘There is hope this Christmas’
By Thomas McNeil, Associate Pastor, Calderwood BC
This Christmas, Calderwood, East Mains, and Westwood Baptist Churches are partnering together once again with other local churches in East Kilbride to provide hope and help to individuals and families in their community.
‘There is hope this Christmas’ is our Christmas Hamper Appeal, which provides everything that an individual or family requires for Christmas dinner. Each hamper is individually packed to make sure that there is plenty of food for everyone in the house to sit down to a 3-course meal on Christmas day. Hampers include fresh turkey, carrots, brussels sprouts, and melon. We also include potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, mince pies, chocolates, juice and much more – this year, we’re even adding toys for children and small gifts for adults celebrating Christmas on their own.
It is a very practical way to support people in our community – we have heard of families in previous years who have sat down to beans and toast for Christmas dinner, and we’ve heard of extended families who didn’t get together because they couldn’t afford to feed one another. Through our hamper distribution, we are able to support and love those in our community facing these kinds of trials.
It is always our desire that these hampers come to households with the great message of hope that is found in Jesus and so every hamper includes a Christmas card and a small Christmas message. This year, our Christmas card also includes a QR code, which people can scan on their phone and watch our Community Care Worker share the hope of the gospel through a short Christmas video.
Last year we distributed 280 hampers and we all know that this year has been like no other in many of our lifetimes. So we fully expect to distribute many more hampers this year than normal as we respond to people who have recently faced redundancy or whose salaries in the run up to Christmas have been reduced by furlough or business closure.
As I took a hamper order from a lady today, her eyes starting filling with tears – I asked if she was ok – she said, “I’ve just never experienced this kind of love, and I had written this Christmas off. You have no idea how much this means to me”.