From a very young age, I remember people helping my family and our family helping others. We were from a very small Appalachian mountain town and when you needed something, people helped. People often call this “Outreach” nowadays but basically it is being there for and loving one another. Some of the scriptures that also fuel my desire to help others are:

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them”. 1 John 4:16

Love is our trademark. Jesus said, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34b-35

I hope that this page will give you some tangible places to get involved and ideas on how to reach others and show God’s love. I will highlight organizations that I have served with and also share things I do or have done just because there was a need and nobody else was doing anything about it.


Operation Christmas Child Serve Week is a great way to get involved in this amazing program! There are so many great opportunities to sign up and serve with friends or family. Learn more about Operation Christmas Child below and see more in the link!

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child is part of Samaritan’s Purse located in Boone, North Carolina. I became aware of Operation Christmas Child when I was in college at Appalachian State University. I helped pack shoeboxes full of toys, hygiene items, school supplies, love and prayers in a small, modest building. Now, there is a huge facility that navigates this fantastic ministry that has sent 10.5 million shoeboxes as well as the Good News of Jesus Christ to children in over 100 countries. These simple gifts are shipped to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine, and disease; and to children living on Native American reservations in the U.S. To learn more about how tp pack a shoebox and find a drop off location nearby, you can go here.

Here is another great article about this ministry.

To get involved locally, you can sign up to be a year round volunteer, become a project or drop off leader, or join those helping at the processing centers. Click here for these options and be sure to connect with me if you would like a speaker to come to your community group to share more about taking action!

Adopt a Grandparent

Adopt a Grandparent is something I have done since 2010. This is where I get folks to sponsor a gift for a low income senior. I purchase all the supplies and materials and then make cute mug or gift basket gifts for men and women. I post pictures and share with friends and family who then send money to support the gifts. My family and I then deliver them on Christmas Day or right after to elderly men and women who do not have many family members or any family to visit them. This is a project that you could support this coming year or even create and do in your own area. If interested in supporting Adopt a Grandparent this year, check out the website around September for more information.

Operation Smile Medical Missions

Operation Smile provides life changing cleft lip and palate repairs to children in 34 countries around the world at no cost to their families.  Volunteer teams donate their time and work together to safely operate and provide surgeries that these families could otherwise not afford.  Why would a cleft lip or palate repair be life changing or life saving?  Many children are unable to properly eat and receive much needed nutrition.  They are ostracized, bullied, and unable to attend school.  These surgeries give children and families new opportunities, increase self-esteem and body image, and bring hope for their futures.  

My very first Child Life Conference was where I first learned about Operation Smile. Since that time, I could not wait to become a volunteer Child Life Specialist on medical missions. It was a tedious process to apply, but well worth it when I finally, many years later, was in the place in life where I could go on a mission. These missions were life changing not only for the children and families receiving the surgeries but for me as well. Read more about this wonderful organization here. 

How can you get involved? If you are a healthcare professional or even a mentor/student you can sign up to go on a mission around the world. Not ready to travel or in a place in life where that is not the best for you?  That is ok also. There are plenty of ways to help and support children to receive these life changing surgeries and have a positive experience.  

As a Child Life Specialist, I often use cloth teaching dolls to prepare children psychosocially for what to expect prior to, during, and after surgery. These are handmade by volunteers and shipped to the mission sites. I would also be super excited to see these when I went to the location as we cannot travel with very much luggage. There are opportunities to fundraise, get your school involved, donate money to sponsor surgeries, and more. Check it out here.