The Reverse Advent Calendar
Many of us keep an Advent calendar as a festive and creative way to count down the days from December 1 until Christmas. These calendars usually mark each day with a small ornament or item to open and enjoy. Advent calendars have become more specialized each year, now featuring ‘themes” such as chocolate, gourmet cheese or wine, candles, hand lotions, and even Lego figurines to assemble.
This year, what about trying a Reverse Advent calendar? The idea is simple—rather than consuming an item each day, you set aside a small item to be donated. By the end of your Christmas countdown, you’ll have a box (or boxes) filled with meaningful necessities to share with someone in need. The items can fit a theme or follow a “wish list” of requested donations from your intended recipient.
There are countless organizations in our communities that welcome material and monetary donations. We’re highlighting two of our Chase Oaks Local Partnerships and invite you to support them with your own Reverse Advent donation box. Take a week to fill a box—or fill multiple ones between now and Christmas. You can find more information about each partnership, along with one or two weeks' worth of suggested donation items for each partner, below.
North Texas Food Bank
Since the start of the pandemic, the number of families in need of food in North Texas has increased more than 25%. One of our local partner food pantries is now serving over 1,400 families weekly. We love partnering with food pantries and the North Texas Food Bank
("NTFB") because we see how this directly affects our neighbors, our co-workers, our church members, and families all over our cities.
A donation to NTFB will help to put a meal on the table for struggling families in our community and allow them to focus on the other immediate needs they are facing.
Some suggestions for a week of donations (can be repeated twice for 14 days’ worth of ideas):
- Day 1 – a can of fruit in juice
- Day 2 – a jar of peanut butter
- Day 3 – a box of cereal bars
- Day 4 – a can of tuna
- Day 5 – a can of green beans
- Day 6 – a jar of jelly
- Day 7 – a can of soup
Local Elementary School Partnerships
For years, Chase Oaks has sought to support our local schools through various campus partnerships, choosing to focus efforts on schools like Mendenhall
, and Wylie ISD Elementary Schools that tend to be under-resourced. We do so in part because teachers are heroes who tirelessly serve our students and communities.
This year in particular, teachers have been stretched like never before. They have had to work endlessly to maintain the safest classroom environments possible while juggling the many different needs of both in-person and virtual students. It has been an exhausting semester! As our teachers try to provide the best and most engaging learning experiences they can, they are working twice as hard but feeling half as effective.
A Reverse Advent donation box is one tangible way to let teachers know that hard work they do on behalf of students is seen, heard, and appreciated.
Some suggestions for two weeks of donations (or pick your favorite seven ideas for one week’s worth):
- Day 1 – hand sanitizer
- Day 2 - $5 gift card to Starbucks, Target, Walmart, etc.
- Day 3 – cozy socks or a soft throw blanket
- Day 4 – a pack of sanitizing wipes
- Day 5 – hand lotion or hand cream
- Day 6 – a small scented candle
- Day 7 – a fizzy bath bomb
- Day 8 – facial tissues
- Day 9 – sticky notes or a memo pad
- Day 10 – a facial beauty mask
- Day 11 – hand soap
- Day 12 – a small tea or coffee sampler
- Day 13 – a journal or notebook
- Day 14 – a heartfelt thank-you note
Donation boxes for the North Texas Food Bank or our local school partnerships can be dropped off at your local Chase Oaks campus location
before December 24. Please clearly label any donation boxes with “NTFB” or “School Partnerships” for easy identification. Food bank donations will be distributed this month, and school donations will be used to welcome teachers back in January.
Whether you use the above suggestions to help you countdown to Christmas, or identify your own theme and donation recipients, consider making a difference to others by including a Reverse Advent calendar in your holiday plans this month.
For more information about serving with our local Partners, click here.