Making Christmas Dreams Come True 2011

Over the last 7 years we focused on touching the urban area of Dayton with a Christmas party that touched over 9,000 people. This year we are seeking to be more strategic in our approach and have decided to reach out to the families who are most at risk in our local school systems.

This Christmas season we’ll remember God’s gift to us by giving and serving others. We’ll come together as the body of Christ to reach out to our communities, friends, family and co-workers.

We have large outreach events that are only achieved when we join together. We'll make sure that hundreds of kids in need receive gifts through our Making Christmas Dreams Come True Store.  We'll wrap presents for free at Fairfield Commons Mall at Wrap It Up! Adopt a Family for Christmas--the local schools have given us the names of at-risk students and their families for us to "adopt". Presents due back by December 15th. We'll deliver dozens of Krispy Kreme donuts during our Christmas Eve Donut Experience. Finally, we have some Do It Yourself ideas thrown in for your family or small group.

Clearly, in the midst of the holiday madness, you have your own shopping and schedules and family needs, so no one is expected to do everything. We would, however, encourage you to do something and to ponder what the season is really all about. Ask the question, How can we re-orient ourselves and our families as we look forward to Christmas 2011?

Along with your family or small group (or both), consider making your own outward-focused calendar by selecting some of the planned outreach events, and then fill in the blanks with some personal touches.

Perhaps you’ll write encouraging notes to someone in your life. Maybe this is the year you prayerfully invite some friends, neighbors, relatives or coworkers to the Christmas services so they can hear the Good News in a fresh way—and spark the spiritual conversation you’ve been hoping for.

How you can help 
Make Christmas Dreams Come True this year.

Volunteer at The Making Christmas Dreams Come True Store
Saturday, December 17th 9am to 5pm, and the evenings 6pm to 9pm the week of December 19th, in the Family Life Center you can help welcome our guests, or bring snacks, or wrap presents, or serve coffee, or help people find gifts, or offer prayer for their needs. You can also, help kids create crafts for their parents.

Purchase Christmas Presents (This is now the greatest need.)

Purchase kid-friendly presents for our Making Christmas Dreams Come True Store. Parents will come to our shop located in the Family Life Center and choose presents for their kids. We’ll need hundreds of presents, all shapes and sizes by December 15th.

Adopt a Family(this is completed thanks to all who chose a family.) Please return gifts in black bags labeled with family name and code by December 15th.

Wrap presents at the Fairfield Commons Mall
Beginning Friday December 9th through December 23rd we will be serving our community by wrapping presents for free. Monday - Thursday 12pm - 2pm and 6pm - 9pm. Friday - Sunday 12pm - 9pm. Sign up for a time slot at the Wrap It Up! tables located near the giving trees.

Invite a friend, family member, co-worker to our Christmas Services
Use our special invitation and invite people you know to our Christmas services. Invitations will be provided at our info centers.
  • Christmas Eve Travelers Service 
Wednesday, December 21, 7pm, Beavercreek Campus
  • Christmas Eve: 
Saturday, December 24th 6pm and 8pm Beavercreek Campus
Saturday, December 24, 6pm, Dayton Campus 
  • Christmas Day:
    10am, Beavercreek Campus and Dayton Campus

Christmas Eve Donut Experience!
Pick up a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts on your way out after our Christmas Eve services. Drop off the donuts as you head home. Go to an emergency room, a fire station, a fast food drive-through, or any place where people are working on Christmas Eve.

Just Do It!
This is do-it-yourself, creative outreach. During the Christmas holidays seek to serve others by being friendly and noticing need. Go out of your way to serve others in your sphere of influence. Show a little love to a neighbor, push grocery carts back, go to a local business with goodies,  pay for the person behind you at the drive-through, or leave a gift for the people who serve you in the community.

Turkeys giving away turkeys recap.

Church gives away 500 Thanksgiving dinners

Volunteers surprise families with meal deliveries.

By Mark Gokavi, Staff Writer 12:05 AM Sunday, November 20, 2011
BEAVERCREEK — About 500 families got a knock on the door Saturday morning and received a free Thanksgiving dinner.

The Vineyard Church of Dayton and Beavercreek packed and delivered that many meals to families in Fairborn, Xenia, Huber Heights and Centerville as part of their “Turkeys Giving Away Turkeys” initiative.

Organizer Steve Bowen said nearly hundreds of volunteers put together packages including a frozen turkey, corn, green beans, yams, cranberry sauce, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, rolls and more.

“To see the look on somebody’s face when you show up with a complete dinner and they didn’t know where their food was going to come from, it’s hard to believe,” said Scott Sliver, one of the pastors at The Vineyard.

The Vineyard also delivered regular groceries to families in need in Huber Heights, which is a program they help other groups with each month.

“The face of the poor is changing around town,” Sliver said. “It’s really hit the middle class pretty hard.”

We had a blast serving those in need by giving away the 550 turkey dinners. Stories are now coming in where people were surprised, encouraged and in some cases moved to tears. God space was created by a simple act of kindness which led to listening, dialogue and then genuine care expressed by hugs and prayer.

  • One mom and daughter had just moved in the day before they were going out the door to sell some items to enable them to purchase needed items for Thanksgiving day. They were more than surprised when they saw the dinner offered for free.
  • One of our team members was so moved by what he saw in one apartment that it caused him to run back to the truck to pick up a boxed dinner for a lady who only had icecubes in her fridge. He spent a lot of time caring for her by listening to her story.
  • Another family had just delivered their turkey and went back to the truck to grab a dinner for another person in need. When they arrived there were no more dinners, so they responded by going to Kroger and purchasing a full dinner for a grateful family.

Several families who went were not aware that there were people in such need within their community. They were surprised, glad they could help, and at the same time upset by what they saw. They also came away from their experience personally grateful and thankful.

I often pose the question, How can you know, unless you go? Answer, you can't.

Going, seeing, serving and praying for others is really the only way to receive a personal ah-ha moment. These moments often are the catalyst that sparks personal involvement, lifestyle change and thankful gratitude.

Someone asked me, How do you do this week in and week out. It must affect you? I answer, Jesus said the poor you will have with you always, so I understand whatever I do in a small way, or in a great way,  is good enough.  I can't possibly meet every need, but I can meet and pray for some. Going also keeps me grounded and personally grateful for all I have received... like the ability to pay my bills, to have heat, to have running water, to have clothing, to have a family that is somewhat normal, and to have some great relationships.

How do you learn to serve? By serving.
How to you learn to love? By loving.
How do you learn to care? By going and seeing with your heart.
How do you learn to pray? By praying.

What we do is not rocket science by any means, it's just faith that works through love.

Turkeys Giving Away Turkeys. / Donut Blitz Fairfield Commons Mall.

Turkeys Giving Away Turkeys.

A few of years ago we adjusted the outreach in order to involve more people, create a safer environment (morning instead of after dark), create less stress (we were creating exact maps from hours of phone calls) and to create a greater sense of team (over 300 people showed up for instructions and to do the outreach last year).

here's what we have discovered:

people want to make a difference....last year over 400 boxes went out the first two weekends in November.  

people like simple...people grab a box as they leave a weekend service. The box has the instructions placed inside the box to help guide people as they purchase the food items.  

people enjoy the sense of togetherness...We encourage participation: families packing the box together, or joining with friends, or joining as a small group to fill the box. 

This year we will be kicking off with a worship set and breaking up into small groups for prayer...then introducing team leaders, and receiving instructions and maps. 

some people like to participate but don't want to go on the outreach...that's ok, participating at any level is appreciated. The 'no go but want to serve people' will bring their filled boxes at 9am instead of 10am and placed into trucks. Last year 150 turkey boxes arrived at 9am.

people like the fact that we go to the areas we have consistently served in the past...we will be dividing up into three huge teams, caravan to the location in order to reach out to 5 low income apartments in Huber Heights, Fairborn, Beavercreek,  Xenia, and Centerville.

people like the adventure... 
we go to homes unannounced offer the Thanksgiving meal and offer prayer. When we leave the home we place a small noticeable, sticker on the door notifying the rest of the team that the stickered door is a home we have served. 

people who serve begin to see life through an outward focused lens...One family went to a home and offered the Thanksgiving dinner. The single mom invited the family inside to place the dinner on her table. The family noticed...all she had in her apartment was the table. Their perspective changed. Their hearts were softened through the experience and began to view life through a different lens. 

Going, serving, praying = caring for others outward focused life.

Packing Box Instructions
Thanks so much for helping to make Thanksgiving possible for the less-served of our community!

This year’s date for Turkeys Giving Away Turkeys is Saturday, November 19th. 

We will meet at Beavercreek Campus at 10am and join team leaders to head out to the different locations: Huber Heights, Fairborn, Centerville, Xenia.

How to participate: Join together as family, friends, or a small group to fill up the box with items listed below.

Turkey’s Giving Away Turkey’s List.
2 Cans Corn 
2 Cans Green Beans 
1 Large Can Yams \
1 Can Cranberry Sauce 
1 Box Au Gratin Potatoes 
1 Box Brownies 
2 Boxes Mac and Cheese 
1 Dinner Bag Rolls 
1 Box Stuffing Mix
1 FROZEN Turkey

1 Pie
Fresh Veggies
Roasting Pan
Fun Stuff

Important Instructions:
Drop off Point Upper Turn Area New Building

If you are going on the outreach... Please leave your dinner box in your car show up at the Vineyard by 10am.

If you only want to participate by filling a turkey dinner box and not go on the outreach...Please drop the filled box off at the Vineyard by 9am.

Donuts Blitz Fairfield Commons Mall.

We are the official greeters for Black Friday at Fairfield Commons Mall. This fast paced outreach begins at 5:30am and lasts until about 7:30am. We greet the early morning shoppers offering Boston Stoker Coffee, and Krispy Kreme Donuts. It's simple and family friendly. We also distribute donuts to the workers at the Mall.

Meet @ Lower Sears Entrance.