10 days in December for 10 consecutive years…

It’s a Christmas tradition in this house…

one that began a decade ago.

image We go to the same empty building located on our local fairgrounds,and join in with a small army of volunteers to set up tables and chairs, and wait for the toys to come to us. And, every year they do.

image For five days, we collect toys from 9 am – 9 pm. We clean, check, play with, price, and sort toys for the biggest toy consignment sale you can imagine.

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By the time the pre sale starts for those who brought toys to sell, our small army of volunteers will have almost 14,000 toys ready. Ten years ago, we had almost 4,000 toys and couldn’t imagine more. I continue to be amazed at how God works! For two days, toys are for sale and consigners can earn 50% on the sale of their toys for a little extra cash during the holiday season. And, the other 50%? Well…that is God’s money.

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You see, after the sale, my friends take the proceeds from the sale along with any monetary donations that have been given and they go shopping… for brand new toys.

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Today is that shopping day. They are driving an hour to a store we have worked with for years. I think this might be the store employees favorite day of the year. And they will bring home a trailer full of new toys.

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Tonight volunteers will gather in that familiar building again. to sort the new toys by age, to combine tables of the unsold used toys, to stack donated Bibles, and to ready the building for the biggest toy giveaway I could ever imagine.

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We do all of this… working 12-15 (or easily more) hours a day for over a week for ONE purpose… to give a toy in His name. For every single toy that leaves that old building will have been prayed over and given with the name of Jesus… “Merry Christmas! Jesus loves you!” “Merry Christmas! We do this because Jesus came to give us salvation.” “Merry Christmas! Did you know Jesus died for you?” ….these exact words said by my children, and many others, to the parents, grandparents, and guardians of almost 2,000 area children in need. When it’s all said and done, and nothing will be left but empty tables waiting to be folded and stacked, we will have spent 10 days in December for ten consecutive years… giving away toys and Jesus.

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