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Phil & Mel In The Morning

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Advent calendars are a fun way for kids and adults to count down the days until Christmas, mostly because each day comes with a treat of some sort. There are so many versions of Advent calendars. You can get them filled with chocolates, toys, cheese, beer, wine, even cosmetics and pet snacks. But instead of getting something, what if you gave something on each day of Advent?

This winter and spring, I’m helping to coordinate the Middle School Discipleship program at my church. One of my tasks is to come up with a service project for the kids to do in December. I thought about having them do a park clean-up, but that’s over in a day. Then I found a Facebook post about a Reverse Advent Calendar.

The idea is for the kids to put one item in their own collection box for each day of Advent, which runs December 1st through 24th. After they’ve filled their boxes, the kids and their Discipleship mentors will deliver their Reverse Advent Calendars to a local non-profit that can use the items to help people in need.

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Our group will be collecting non-perishable foods, so the Reverse Advent Calendar looks like this:

  • 12/1 – Box of cereal
  • 12/2 – Peanut butter
  • 12/3 – Stuffing mix
  • 12/4 – Boxed potatoes
  • 12/5 – Macaroni & cheese
  • 12/6 – Canned fruit
  • 12/7 – Canned tomatoes
  • 12/8 – Canned tuna
  • 12/9 – Dessert mix
  • 12/10 – Apple sauce
  • 12/11 – Canned sweet potatoes
  • 12/12 – Cranberry sauce
  • 12/13 – Canned beans
  • 12/14 – Box of crackers
  • 12/15 – Package of rice
  • 12/16 – Package of oatmeal
  • 12/17 – Package of dry pasta
  • 12/18 – Pasta sauce
  • 12/19 – Chicken noodle soup
  • 12/20 – Tomato soup
  • 12/21 – Can of corn
  • 12/22 – Can of mixed vegetables
  • 12/23 – Can of carrots
  • 12/24 – Can of green beans

We’re going to deliver all of the boxes to a local food bank in January. Charitable donations typically drop off after the holidays anyway, so I’m hoping that our contributions will make a difference during the coldest months of the year.

In case you’re wondering, the total cost for the food and box comes to about $30. Of course, you can do a Reverse Advent Calendar with other items, too, such as clothing and toiletries for a homeless shelter, toys and books for underprivileged kids, or pet supplies for an animal rescue.