Our church has been encouraging the congregation to turn Black Friday into Bless Friday by engaging in community service rather than going shopping. Today's Houston Chronicle has a nice story describing the initiative, here.
The church website had several different opportunities for service that ranged from serving meals at a homeless shelter to bagging beans and rice for the church's Hispanic ministry food pantry. Or you could create your own project.
Last Sunday the Outreach Ministry also distributed $20,000 during the worship services in envelopes ranging from $1 to $1,000. The idea was to pass the money along as a blessing to others and then report back. The idea was that each family took one envelope and then decided what to do with it.
Babs and I went forward and I was given an envelope with $200 in it. Babs got $10 in $2 bills so she gave hers to me and told me to use it together.
El Jefe and I weren't sure at first how to use the money. Then last night it came to me--we will pass the money along to the Caring Bridge website in honor of our nephew, Patrick.
That website is truly a blessing for families coping with extended illnesses or traumatic accidents such as Patrick's. I've followed a couple of other people on Caring Bridge in the past and often thought how helpful it would have been for my brother and his family during the years they coped with his daughter's cancer treatments.