An invitation to the United Methodist churches of the Desert Southwest Conference to participate in the annual Sidewalk Ministries Christmas Project, including helpful instructions about the gift bags.
In 2011 over 1,500 children receivedChristmas gift bags, gift cards or stuffedanimals from 30 churches. UnitedMethodist Women also donated items andfilled bags at their Annual ConferenceMeeting/Celebration.
United Methodist Women filling bags at their annual meeting.
With the possibility of additional Sidewalksites this year, our goal for 2012 is tosurpass the number of gifts that weredonated in 2011.
We need well-filled Christmas gift bags for children ages 3 to 12.
Please note : this year we will not be asking forgift bags for teens. Instead, we will be givingeach teen a $20 gift card from stores such asWalmart or Target.If filling bags for a teen has been your passion,please consider donating a $20 gift card thisyear instead. We do have two churches whogive nothing but gift cards; however we will stillneed a few more.
We will also be looking for a few NEW,medium sized stuffed animals to give to thetoddlers who come to Sidewalk Sunday Schoolwith their siblings. Notice the 12 inch ruler in the picture.
Guidelines for purchasing and filling bagshave been formed over the years to makethe process easier. Your help in followingthem is appreciated. Thank you!
• Please use paper or cloth bags thatmeasure no smaller than 8 X 10 and no largerthan 10 X 13. The width of bags will varyaccording to manufacture. They will be anywhere from 3 to 5 inches wide. If we receivebags larger than requested, we will split thecontents up into the appropriate size bags.• Use bags that are decorated for Christmasor are plain red or green. Decorated bags forbirthdays or other holidays are notappropriate.
Notice the 12 inch ruler in the picture. 10 X 13 bags are thelargest permitted. No smaller than 8 by 10 either, please.
•Use a gift tag that is tied on to the bagindicating the gender and age of the child thebag is intended for.•Please do not staple, glue or tape tags to thebags.•Make sure that the gifts in the bag match thegender and age that is indicated on the tag.
•Do not wrap the gifts in the bags. Tissuepaper on top of the gifts is okay.•Please do not include gift cards in the bagsalong with gifts.•Items should not be attached to the outsideof the bags. This makes the bags moredifficult to transport.
•Please use the following age categorieswhen filling and tagging the bags. 3–4 5–8 9 – 12•Also indicate if the bag is for a girl or boy.•Reminder – teens will get $20 worth ofgift cards this year instead of bags.
•Fill the bags well with NEW and UNBROKENitems with the price tags removed.•Little trinket type toys are not appropriateunless accompanied by larger, better qualityitems.•When filling bags for the 3 & 4 year olds, pleasedo not give anything that is small enough theycould choke on, including hard candy.
•Please do not include chocolate candy or itemswith peanuts.• These are Christmas bags - Halloween, Easteror Valentine’s Day candy is not appropriate!
•Items such as toothpaste and regular toothbrushes should not be given. Nor should thebags include trial/hotel size lotions, shampoos,etc. This is Christmas – the children deservefun things.•Do not include items such as knives or razors.
•If you are giving a gift that needs a companion,please give both items.For example- a coloring book needs crayons, awater color book needs a brush, a flashlight orwatch needs batteries.Often the children do not have the money tobuy the items they need to be able to use thosegifts.
SUGGESTED GIFT ITEMS FOR 4 TO 12 YEAR OLDS PLEASE MAKE SURE ALL THE ITEMS ARE AGE APPROPRIATEcrayons & coloring books anything art relatedmarkers simple craft kitssmall toys comic books, story bookssports cards – boys sports memorabiliaballs small hand held gamesgames puzzlesdolls – girls Beanie babiesactivity books story booksmatch box cars – boys Nerf toysChristmas pens/pencils Christmas socksjacks, marbles jump ropeshair items Christian items (cross, jewelry, books)small stuffed animals jewelry Anything fun that a child would like!!
We realize that the contents can’t be the same in all the bags, but we can make them all full and appropriate.
Your understanding and help is appreciated.These guidelines are not meant to discourageanyone from filling bags. They are meant toprevent additional work for the volunteers andto keep the children from being disappointed.
If your church would like to help this year,please contact, Bev Secrist at 480-345-9420 oremail: email@example.comYou may still participate on your own even ifyour church isn’t participating. Please contactBev at the above number or email.A list of the guidelines is available in documentform and it is suggested that all those who planto fill read them carefully. Contact Bev (seeabove) for a copy.
November 2nd is the lastdate for you or yourchurch to make a November 2012commitment as to the Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Satnumber of bags, stuffed 1 3animals and/or gift cards 2that will be provided. 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Commitments before thisdate are most welcomeand encouraged. 11 12 13 14 15 16 17Please consider this 18 19 20 21 22 23 24commitment carefullyand promise only what 25 26 27 28 29 30you think you canactually provide.
Churches in the North and South Districtswill have a location in their districts that willreceive their gifts. Location, date, and contactperson to be announced. Contact Bev Secristat 480-345-9420 or firstname.lastname@example.org formore information. Gifts from churches in the Central Eastand Central West Districts will be collected atthe Methodist Conference Center in Phoenix.
Central East and CentralWest Districts will need December 2012to deliver their gifts onMonday, December 3rd Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat 1between 9:30 AM and3 PM. to the Methodist 2 4 5 6 7 8 3Conference 9 10 11 12 13 14 15Center, 1550 E.Meadowbrook, Phoenix. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29Please note – this is theONLY time that we can 30 31accept the gifts at theConference Center.
RemindersSpace is limited at the Conference Center inPhoenix – thus there is no place to store itemsahead of time. Please take this intoconsideration when you make a commitmentand delivery arrangements.North and South District Churches will beadvised at a later time when and where they candeliver their gifts.
Volunteers deliver bags to the collection points.
Volunteers helpinspect, sort, andcount bags to make them ready for pick up by the site directors or site volunteers.
Volunteers from Sidewalk sites come to pick up gifts.
Volunteershelp with the distribution of the gifts.
Thank you so much to all whohelped in 2011…...…and to all who will be helpingin 2012….
Thank you……• to the contact person at each church who coordinatestheir church’s gift giving• to those who fill bags, donate gift cards and stuffedanimals• to those who deliver the items on the appropriate day• to those volunteers who help inspect, count, and sortall of the bags• to those volunteers who pick up the gifts needed foreach site• to the volunteers at each site who help distribute thegifts to the children
Thank you from the children!! These pictures used by permission.