By Teresa Sayles, Children’s Creative Arts Director
Woodland Hills Church
For a number of years, we have used the month of February in Heroes Gate to give kids the opportunity to show Christ-like love to kids around the world through giving. Children kindergarten-6th grade each receives a cardboard bank box he/she can use for collecting donations, and preschoolers are encouraged to visit the LMC table in the hallway between preschool and elementary to pick up a box if they want to help.
Over the years, we’ve partnered with several ministries that are doing amazing work in the lives of kids in Haiti, Rwanda, Costa Rica, and Mexico. This year, we’re returning to our partnership with Living Hope International’s Esperanza Viva Youth Homes in Mexico. These ministries, located in the cities of Puebla and Matamoros, provide 24/7 care and love to children and youth whose families can no longer care for them. Many of the children at Esperanza Viva have had to endure life on the streets, abuse and rejection by family members, and neglect and malnutrition. Arriving at Esperanza Viva, they are enveloped by people who show them the love of Christ, provide them with an education, and care for their needs. Many of the more than 500 children who have called Esperanza Viva home over the years have gone on to post-secondary school and/or gone into ministry work.
In 2015, we partnered with Esperanza Viva through Love Makes Cents to purchase new bedding, blankets, and pillows for the kids there. The kids raised an amazing $1,622.48 that year over the course of the four weeks of February! Here are some pictures we received afterwards of the kids enjoying their new bedding.
This year, we’re excited to help Esperanza Viva purchase some new mattresses as well as 15 bicycles for the kids to use as they get exercise and enjoy time outdoors. We’re encouraging the kids of Heroes Gate to help us raise money to buy the “beds and bikes” in a variety of ways including sacrificing from their own piggy banks, doing extra chores around the home or for family members, or even selling some of their old toys. An additional way we are encouraging kids to consider giving is through a matching partnership with you! We would love it if you would prayerfully consider matching whatever donations your child is able to raise this month. It would be an excellent way to not only encourage your child to give, but it would be an example to them of sacrificial giving on your part, as well.
If you have questions about Love Makes Cents or our partnership with Esperanza Viva, you can contact Patrick Showers at firstname.lastname@example.org.