Our Season of Service

Inspired by some friends of our family, the Marshall family has decided to try a new way of exchanging Christmas gifts in 2012. We hope it will become a wonderful family tradition.
For years, the four Marshall children, their spouses, and their parents exchanged gifts every Christmas, but in 2011, we decided the gift-giving tradition may need a change since we are all so blessed and in need of truly nothing. We decided we needed to find a better way to celebrate the true Christmas spirit.

We suggested that we each perform acts of service in the name of the sibling whose name we were assigned at random. Our service will be kept a secret until Christmas Day.

Our friend drew the names for us and notified each of us privately of the person who should inspire our service. On Christmas Day, we reveal who we were given and how we chose to serve by posting our stories on The Marshall Family Season of Service blog.

We hope this tradition will help us focus on serving our communities and each other during the annual celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

We invite you to come back to our blog on Christmas morning to read this year's service.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dear Mother,

We were excited about the prospect of giving the gift of service this year. I liked the idea of celebrating the Savior's birth the way He lives, serving others. There is certainly no shortage of needs in our world, but I wanted to choose something that would allow the recipient to better their lives, rather than bettering that moment. After we read a story about a family who received a goat and was able to feed their family and produce some income, I knew what I wanted to do. I won't lie, the agricultural nature of the gift appealed to me; it's no secret I believe in farming! So, I looked up Heifer International, the charity mentioned in the book. Heifer International is an organization that provides livestock, clean water, educational opportunities, and various other benefits to families in 3rd world countries. They also provide the families with the education necessary to successfully put the gifts to good use. The families in return agree to pass along the things they learn and the gifts given when possible. We chose to purchase a flock of chicks in your name. According to Heifer International, "A flock of chicks can help families add nourishing, life-sustaining eggs to their inadequate diets. The protein in just one egg is a nutritious gift for a hungry child. Protein-packed eggs from even a single chicken can make a life-saving difference. Heifer helps many hungry families with a starter flock of 10 to 50 chicks. A good hen can lay up to 200 eggs a year - plenty to eat, share or sell. With Heifer recipients' commitment to pass on the offspring and training, the exponential impact of adding chickens to communities in poverty is truly a model that helps end hunger and poverty. Because chickens require little space and can thrive on readily available food scraps, families can make money from the birds without spending much. And chickens help control insects and fertilize gardens." Hopefully with this gift, a family can provide a better life for themselves and those in their community. Merry Christmas! Love, Wendy

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