Haiti (MNN) — It’s June, but you may have already seen what’s called Christmas creep: some craft stores are already selling Christmas trees and décor.
At the same time, some people are already knee deep in their preparations for Christmas this year. They’ve already got a head start on gifts, already picked out stocking stuffers, color themes for the décor, and they’re posting all over social media about it.
You might be thinking, “School just let out. Are you nuts?!” However, there’s a method to the madness. Planning early lets you gather everything you need at leisure so you’re not running around at the last minute looking for budget-busting special somethings. For a lot of people, that is exactly what they don’t like about the holiday season: it’s too focused on the wrong things, and it’s stressful.
That’s the practicality behind For Haiti’s With Love’s stateside event called Christmas in August aimed at a Christmas Day party in Haiti. Ministry co-founder Eva DeHart explains, “When you’re providing a big party and you’re going to have anywhere from 750 to 1000 children, and they’re all going to get fed and they’re all going to get brand new toys, those things come in the way of gifts from donors in the United States and have to be transported to Haiti and be in place by Christmas.” They’re hoping to raise at least $6000 toward the special feast day.
“It becomes the social event of Cap Haitien. It’s kind of neat that the outstanding party of the year for Cap Haitien is for poor children only,” says DeHart. The reason they do it? “It is a wonderful opportunity to get a lot of children together who may never have heard the Gospel, to give them the story of what Christmas is all about and to share with them that they’re having a Jesus birth day party.”
The ministry’s presence in Cap Haitien has provided care through the burn clinic, the feeding program, the housing program, but that’s been mainly geared at the adults in the community. This party is aimed at kids, and this year, they’ll show the children’s version of the JESUS film on Christmas Day, DeHart adds. What’s more, “The party is a physical example–handing them physical evidences of God’s love.”
It’s not cheap throwing a birthday bash with roughly 1000 guests. That’s partly why they use the Christmas in August fundraiser to help. It provides the funds needed for shipping, for food, and for gifts–which is the easy part. People love to help with those. You can, too. DeHart details what they still need. “For the little girls, they love dolls with long hair. The boys love the Matchbox cars. School supplies and hygiene supplies are all luxuries: nail polish, colognes, bath powder, dominoes, checkers, games with no English, and good UV sunglasses of all sizes.”
The date for this year’s Christmas in August dinner/auction is August 10, 2015, at the First United Methodist Church of Dunedin, 421 Main Street, Dunedin FL. If you want to help, click here because…it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!