Nov 18

Tzedakah & Operation Christmas Child 2015

20151110_165028_resized_1Recently we participated in Operation Christmas Child with the help of staff members who helped donate items for the annual event. The children had the opportunity to put together gift boxes for children in various places around the world. We spoke about how this gift might be the first gift some of these children would receive and how we can learn to be grateful with what we have been given, even if we know our lives are far from perfect.

Jewish Educator, Janet Tatz, gave a lesson in the Jewish tradition of tzedakah–which means “justice” but refers to the act of charitable giving. The children were able to hear a story about how a little girl named Dahlia was able to get a BIG yellow comforter into a little

Janet reads a story about Dahlia and a big yellow comforter

Janet reads a story about Dahlia and a big yellow comforter

tzedakah box! Of course, she was simply saving up her money to give to a charity, but it was a fun way to introduce to the children the concept of saving up so you could do good for another.

We had a wonderful time of celebration putting our 31 boxes together! We saw a video from Samaritan’s Purse that showed some children in Madagascar receiving their gifts and using the new snorkels and masks they received to explore the sea. Our friends at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church received the boxes and will help with the cost of shipping.

While some of our younger children struggled with the concept of assembling a gift for someone they didn’t know, and not getting a gift themselves, most of the children were really able to get into the spirit of giving. We prayed for the children that would be receiving our gifts, and each child took time to write a note of encouragement and friendship to the young person they assembled a gift for.


“I hope you like my present. I like riding bikes,” wrote one of our younger children.

Isn’t it great to be reminded that even in the midst of very difficult circumstances, we can learn to be grateful and give to others something that might be an encouragement to them? Our children are an encouragement to me daily, and I hope that we can carry ourselves with the same attitude of selflessness and love that they are learning to express during their time at Intermountain.