Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What If It Were You?

On Christmas Eve evening I went to visit my great-aunt, a resident in a nursing home.  Earlier I had set up a small Christmas tree on her night-stand and its' fiber optic lights gave a warm glow to that corner of her room.  If you stared at the tree long enough you could almost forget your were in a nursing home, but that wouldn't be the reality.  The reality is that my 99 year-old aunt has lived in this home for several years and will continue to do so until the Lord calls her to a "new" home.  She is not alone in this reality.  All around us are these types of "homes" for those that are unable to continue living in the their own home.

Nursing homes can be a lonely place for those that have had to leave home, family and familiar surroundings for need of around-the-clock care.  Christmas can be especially lonesome for residents as families rush to meet responsibilities involving their jobs, church functions, and the commercialism that spawns non-stop, last minute shopping.  I visited several other residents during the evening, just talking, listening, laughing and reading from Luke 2 to attentive ears.  Yes, nursing home residents could certainly use some “joy”.

JOY Boxes bring smiles.
Enter you and the James Croft Evangelistic Association JOY Box Ministry.

You might be surprised at the amount of joy one plastic shoebox filled with small gift items will bring to a nursing home resident.  With the assistance of churches of various denominations, individuals, businesses, school clubs and organizations over 300 of these boxes were distributed in five nursing homes for residents this past year.  That's over 300 faces sporting smiles of appreciation for a small gift they can call their own.

The boxes contained a variety of items including shampoo, body wash, puzzle book, magnifying glass, socks, and a copy of God’s Word.  Most of these types of items we take for granted, but for these residents it provided a sense of ownership and independence.

Wouldn't you like to have a part in sharing this type of "joy"?  Participation is so easy.  The JOY Box section of our website provides all of the details.  If you are unable to prepare a box, but would like to contribute financially toward providing one or more boxes, you can follow the link below.  We can prepare a nice box with a variety of items for approximately $15.  We need to receive all of the boxes by the middle of next week for delivery later in the month.

Examples of JOY Box items.
Thank you so much for your consideration of this ministry.  Your prayerful and financial support will be greatly appreciated.

By the way, please remember to pray for nursing home residents, better yet... why not stop by a nursing home in your area and just walk the halls making random visits? You'll be blessed beyond measure by the smiles & appreciation!

JOY Box Donation
Click this button to make a donation to the JCEA Christmas JOY Box Ministry.  Donations will be used to cover expenses in providing shoe box gifts to nursing home residents.

 To make a contribution by check or money order follow this link.

 The James Croft Evangelistic Association is registered with the IRS as a 501(C)(3) corporation and all donations to the JCEA are tax deductible.

Photos by Jon M. Fletcher

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