The process that lead to the Emmanuel Meal was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It was full of laughs, a lot of love, and collaboration between many different people in the church.
As a sixth grader, I participate weekly in Sunday school with other students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. To contribute to the Emmanuel Meal, we completed a sit-up/push-up-a-thon in order to raise money for the presents that would be distributed at the Emmanuel Meal. Each student had ten minutes to complete as many sit-ups or push-ups as they could. We found sponsors that generously donated a certain amount of money per sit-up/push-up to donate to the Emmanuel Meal.
The second stage leading up to the Emmanuel Meal was assembling and wrapping presents for the people who would attend. As a church we assembled boxes that held a variety of different toiletries and other essentials. We then wrapped the gifts and made each one very unique by decorating them with a selection of ribbons, bows, and stickers.
Finally the day for the Emmanuel Meal arrived. I had done other service projects before, but had never done a project similar to this. My mother and I arrived at Calvary and were escorted to the Bethlehem Chapel, where we would hand out gifts. We organized the gifts and waited until the time came for us to distribute them. At about twelve o’ clock, people began to come in and were served a delicious meal. They then would come and receive their gifts and would exit the building, usually with a big smile on their face.
Participating in the Emmanuel Meal was a very enriching experience for me. Seeing the looks on people’s faces when they knew they were about to get a warm meal and a present was amazing. This experience taught me to appreciate how truly and incredibly blessed I am. It gave me a whole different perspective on Christmas—one where we love each other and God unconditionally.