For five years now 200 members of Orland Park (Ill.) Christian Reformed Church gather in mid-December to assemble Christmas gift baskets for about 125 needy families in the area.
Each basket contains close to $150 worth of goods, including toiletries, laundry soap, and a lot of things that can’t be found at a food pantry, such as fresh meat, eggs, and produce.
Each family also receives a bag with items from a Christian bookstore, such as a Bible, CD, or devotional book, kids’ books, and pencils.
Many church families deliver the baskets together, visiting and praying with their community neighbors and teaching their children the joy of giving.
Recipients include people who use the church’s food pantry or car ministry, as well as referrals from the church’s benevolence committee or other members.