Giving Your Time with Global Media Outreach

All month long, I am sharing giving ideas and causes as part of The 30-Day Giving Challenge. The following is a guest post from Amy of Mom’s Toolbox.

This morning I prayed for a new friend in Ethiopia. She had just decided to recommit her life to Christ and asked for prayers over her marriage and her church.

Each week I pray for and connect with at least three individuals from all over the world… some a state a way, but most in countries that would be too difficult for me to travel to regularly as a missionary right now.

And still, I can reach in, touch their hearts for the Lord, answer their questions, pray for them and guide them in their walk with Jesus as an Online Missionary for Global Media Outreach, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.

Global Media Outreach hosts nearly 100 websites which share the gospel in a variety of ways and languages. These sites offer visitors the opportunity to learn about Christ, pray to receive Him, and ask for follow-up from an Online Missionary like me who prays for that individual and points him or her toward excellent resources for growing in faith. I also answer any questions that he or she might ask… and it is all over a secure, private, email connection.

Visitors to Global Media Outreach sites are asking to be prayed for and asking to learn about our Savior.

Ministering to each of them could not be any easier. They are asking to be prayed for, asking to learn about the Lord and all I have to do is sit at my computer and respond in love.

Want to see how many people are visiting Global Media Outreach’s sites and indicating decisions to follow Christ? Check out www.GreatCommission2020.com for real time results. You will be amazed.

Then, consider giving the gift of the Lord to people all over the world who are asking for it. Consider joining me and apply to serve as an Online Missionary with Global Media Outreach. Then you’ll be giving the gift of eternal life to those seeking it worldwide. And what could be better than that?

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Amy is mom to three younger children, ages four to nine years, and host mom to her second teenage foreign exchange student. She has volunteered as an Online Missionary with Global Media Outreach since October 2009. She blogs and encourages others to read the entire Bible in 90 Days at MomsToolbox.com. Amy also hosts MomsTravelTales, where she loves to share the adventures of family travel.

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Helping Families of Hospitalized Children

All month long, I am sharing giving ideas and causes as part of The 30-Day Giving Challenge. The following is a guest post from Jessie Leigh of Parenting Miracles.

When I went into labor less than 24 weeks into my pregnancy, I was lucky- my OB sent me to a large university hospital with an adjacent level III NICU. As a result, when my precious little girl was born almost four months early, she was right where she needed to be. I, on the other hand, was two hours from home. So was my husband. And, oh yes, so was our then ten-month old son.

We couldn’t very well make that commute every day… not only was the driving time prohibitive, my husband had to work and I was forbidden from driving following my surgery. We could have stayed in a hotel… for awhile. But the cost of that would have been exorbitant.

The Ronald McDonald House gave us a home away from home. We lived there for exactly 100 days. Families are asked to contribute- if they are able- $10 per night of their stay. Because our stay was so long, the manager insisted on halving that for our family. We had a place to live- and many meals provided- for three and a half months.

Our cost? Five hundred dollars. Amazing.

But they need help to make that happen! Fortunately, there are several very simple ways we can lend a hand. The Ronald McDonald House is always on my heart this time of year because my daughter arrived on Christmas Eve… preparing for the holidays inspires giving.

Here are five quick and easy ways to reach out to families with children in the hospital:

  1. Buy a Happy Meal. Yes, I know kids’ meals at fast food restaurants have come under fire and I’m not one to advocate making a steady diet of them. However, the simple fact is that many of us rely on these meals occasionally, whether as a treat or out of “necessity” when we’re on the go. By choosing to buy a Happy Meal, you’re also ensuring that a portion of the cost will go to Ronald McDonald House Charities. You can feel good about that part, if not what you’re feeding your kids.
  2. Toss your spare change in the jar. Almost all McDonald’s restaurants have a change jar inside and often one attached to the drive thru– this money is collected to support the Ronald McDonald houses.
  3. Save your “pop tabs”. Many schools run collection drives for these but, if yours does not, they can be dropped off at any Ronald McDonald House or children’s hospital. Some McDonald’s restaurants also collect them. Your cans can still be returned for a refund if you live in a state with a deposit. (I do). Think these don’t add up? Check out some these stats.
  4. Donate gently used toys. So many charities request that all donated toys be new, but many Ronald McDonald houses will gladly accept used toys as well. These are put in a playroom for the siblings of the hospitalized children… what a blessing for these little ones who are away from their homes! Too often, the “healthy” children can be forgotten. This is a way to touch their lives.
  5. Make a meal. Or clean a kitchen. Or organize a library. If you live within a convenient driving distance to a Ronald McDonald House, I encourage you to visit. They are amazing places and they will welcome you. While you’re there, lend a helping hand. During our stay, there were regularly volunteers helping to deep-clean the kitchens or tidy up the playroom. Groups from churches or businesses would often bless the residents with a hot, fresh dinner or breakfast. It is these special touches that make the House into a Home.

JessieLeigh is the mother of a former 24-week micropreemie and two full-term blessings as well. She is a determined advocate for the tiniest of babies, including the unborn, and a firm believer in faith and miracles.  She shares about raising such a precious, tiny baby over at Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles.

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Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family Program

All month long, I’ll be sharing giving ideas and causes as part of The 30-Day Giving Challenge. The following is a guest post from Kristia of Family Balance Sheet.


In November 2005, I read an article in the newspaper that grabbed at my heart. The Salvation Army was seeking sponsors to participate in their Adopt-A-Family program for the upcoming holiday season. These local families were in need of assistance from the community to help make their Christmas bright.

As a sponsor, you made a commitment to provide the adopted family with all of the ingredients needed for the family to prepare a holiday meal, including the turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, fruit cup, noodles, gravy, rolls, pie filling and crust.

The sponsor also provided each child in the adopted family a hat, pair of gloves, an outfit, and a toy. We would be given information about the children to make the necessary purchases.

The food and gifts needed to be delivered to the adoptive family by the second week of December.

In November 2005, our first daughter had just been born and honestly I was in a fog, but something about that article spoke to me. I talked to my husband and he agreed that we should become sponsors. After that first year, we felt so strongly about the program that the next year we decided to participate in the Adopt-A-Senior program as well. With the senior program, the sponsor is only asked to provide the meal components.

Every year, I buy all of the food right before Thanksgiving to take advantage of the sales on holiday food and turkeys. I buy the clothes and toys for the children during the After-Thanksgiving sales and we make the deliveries by early December.

After the first year, I started to also include ingredients for the seniors and the family to make a holiday breakfast, but this in not required. My fondest holiday memories from my childhood include the amazing breakfast that my mother would make. Since having children, my husband and I have decided that we wanted to make breakfast a part of our own holiday tradition, so we have included ingredients for breakfast for our adoptive families as well.

Over the years, I have met some beautiful people through this program. The families are very appreciative and excited about the food and gifts. Part of me wishes that I could see the children open their presents on Christmas morning, but I know that is not my place. We participate because God has blessed us beyond our dreams and expectations and we feel it is a small way to give back to the community.

One year after the holiday I received a thank-you card from the sweet senior couple that we sponsored. When I walked into their home, I knew immediately why God had sent me there with a big box of food. In the thank-you card the wife told me how she and her husband had enjoyed the meal with their family. After the turkey was gone she used the bones to make a large pot of turkey noodle soup…a woman after my own heart.

Contact your local Salvation Army, if you are interested in participating in the Adopt-A-Family program.

Kristia is a wife, mother and the family office manager. She owns FamilyBalanceSheet.org where she writes and shares about family finances, food and home-management.

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The Christmas Jar… A Simple Act Can Change A Life

All month long, I’ll be sharing giving ideas and causes as part of The 30-Day Giving Challenge. The following is a guest post from Denise of Denise in Bloom.


Clink, Clink, Clink…

This is the sound of hope, the sound of a chance to help a person in greater need
than myself.

Clink, Clink, Clink…

As I drop my loose coins into my humble jar, I ponder and pray. Who will need my saved up coins this Christmas season? Who will cross my path that I can bless?

Hard to believe my spare change could really change a life. Maybe it won’t change a person’s life in big ways, but hopefully in small ways. Maybe something obvious… A new pair of shoes, a bag of groceries, paying an overdue bill. But maybe, just maybe, an unseen change. A heart filled with hope and renewed trust through the power of giving.

Clink, Clink, Clink…

I have been dropping my leftover change in my jar all year now. Our family Christmas jar sits in its appointed place on my kitchen window sill… slowly filling up over the year. As I wash dishes I look at the jar and pray. Pray for the recipient who will not need to know from where the gift came, but hoping they feel the love and prayers that come along with this gift.

Most of all that this unknown person will find a deeper meaning behind my simple canning jar full of coins. I pray there is a heart renewed this Christmas season.

Our family was introduced to the Christmas Jars last year. We only heard about this giving opportunity in November on the Glenn Beck show. Glenn was interviewing the author Jason F Wright, of a book called Christmas Jars. As my husband and I heard this interview, and Jason said it was about One Jar, One Birth, One Savior, we knew we had to start the Christmas Jar tradition in our family!

We only had about 6 weeks to collect change. We scrambled around and began to find change all over our house. Every day we would come home from Christmas shopping, placing our spare change in the jar. It was exciting to see what we could collect as a family. We didn’t know who we would give the jar to, but we knew God would show us who needed it the most. There was an anticipation that was priceless, and truly taught us that it is better to give than receive. And… the true meaning of Christmas.

As Christmas Day drew near, it became evident which family we would secretly bless with our spare change. Sneaking up to the front porch of the house and leaving our Christmas Jar was a thrill like no other. I knew we as a family, would never be quite the same, and I prayed it had that impact on those who we were blessing.

Maybe you would like to start a new tradition of a Christmas Jar in your home? Some families have each of their children fill up their own jars. I have heard of co-workers, school children, and Sunday school classes all working together to fill up Christmas Jars. The ideas are endless! This month I have been sacrificing my Starbucks money in hopes of collecting more change.

I highly recommend reading Christmas Jars this month. It is a quick read and very touching. It is recommended that you give the book with the jar. As the person receives the jar, they then read the book, and in most cases turn around and begin to do the same thing for others as a result. It is viral and catches on!

Clink, Clink, Clink…It’s a beautiful sound.

Denise is just a simple gal with simple ways, who happens to love cottage style and all things about decorating. Her goal at Denise in Bloom is to inspire you to find beauty in the everyday.

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