The Harrington Family

The Harrington family, including parents Craig and Carol and their children Andrew and Kaitlyn, assembled gift baskets to take to families last Christmas. Several adult weekend group classes and small groups combined outreach to reach more families.

Something special happened in the Cloverleaf Neighborhood in southwest Louisville last December.

The DC: Thoroughly Equipped group led by Clay Hume and Brian Miller partnered with Local Missions and the Foundations weekend group to provide Christmas for 55 families.

Every family was chosen by a local school. Families signed up to serve together.

On Saturday, Dec. 22, about 50 people came to deliver baskets of food and gifts to homes in the area.

Mike and Ani Mardis and their children picked up names of several families that day.

“We prayed before knocking on each door,” Ani said. “I admit that I was completely out of my comfort zone even though we had served at Wayside Christian Mission and in different service projects as a family. But our children were so excited to be involved, so I looked forward to what God would do that night.”

They delivered baskets to several homes, but really connected with Danielle, a young single mom, and her son Jamari.

They took a box of food from Local Missions and a box of toys donated by retail chain Meijer. Danielle invited them into her apartment and the two families talked a while as the children played with Jamari.

It seemed like a casual, one-time encounter until it was time to leave and Jamari ran across the room to say goodbye and hugged Mike’s leg.

In the car, Mike wondered out loud if they should include Jamari and Danielle in the family Christmas Eve dinner. They prayed about it as a family before calling Danielle with the invitation. She had no plans for Christmas and agreed to come to dinner.

Though the apartment was just 10 minutes from the Mardises’ home, Jamari was as excited as if he were going on a trip to another country. They were overwhelmed with gifts and treats made especially for them.

As they talked that night, Ani learned that Danielle never celebrated Christmas growing up.

One of eight children, her Christmas gift was usually a trinket from a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Ani’s heart went out to the single mom.

“Our time with Danielle and Jamari was a blessing in so many ways,” Ani said. “We realize that we should look for more opportunities to share our home.”

Groups still are talking about the outreach and looking for other opportunities to serve together. Some stayed in touch with the families they met.

If your group would like to serve together, call Local Missions at (502) 253-8360.