February Volunteer Highlight
This month, IOCC features Mark, Benjamin, Jordan and Rachel Lockyer of Charlotte, NC in the volunteer highlight. With the current state of the economy, the Lockyer family found themselves in a similar situation as many families in the United States facing financial difficulties. However, the Lockyer children took this opportunity as a learning experience, realizing that many people around the world faced even greater hardships. The article below, written by Mark and Lynne Lockyer, is a great Lenten reminder of the importance of helping those in need, and becoming more like children.
The Lockyer Family
Unless We Turn and Become Like Children
With the economy being so bad, it is hard for the average Christian to realize that there are those, who are less fortunate than we are. In 2007, my husband and I found ourselves having to close our business, after 7 years. Finding a full time steady job was becoming a difficult task. As December approached, we wondered what Christmas would be like, for our 4 children.
My Father-in-law sends $100 for each of the children, every Christmas. My first thought was, "At least I could buy them the things that they needed". As I was discussing our situation with a friend at church, she told me about families in our area, who were not even going to be able to have a Christmas. Okay, so maybe my situation wasn't so bad.
Our children, Mark, Benjamin, Jordan and Rachel, had overheard our friend, discussed it among themselves, and decided to give our friend half of their Christmas money for needy families. I was dumbfounded! I certainly wasn't thinking about "giving money away", especially when I thought we really needed it. The next week, we gave Vivian the money, and Christmas turned out to be just fine.
In 2008, we were still struggling financially, and there was the possibility of foreclosure on our house. Our children had heard about an Orthodox Children's home in Kenya, and the concern for feeding the children there. This time, they decided to give up all of their Christmas money. Again, I was dumbfounded! I thought, "Half is one thing, but to give up all of their money". I remember thinking that they didn't understand the seriousness of our situation. They were adamant, and not only did they give all of their money, they even went to neighbors and friends, and asked for donations to add to their efforts. Again, Christmas turned out to be just fine.
In 2009, Mark was working a full time, steady job, and we were trying to get back on our feet. After having attended our annual IOCC dinner, our children decided that the IOCC would be their "Advent Project for 2009", as they called it. I knew what was coming. They again agreed to give up all of their money. This time, they also passed out IOCC fliers door-to-door, asking for donations. They were able to give over $1100 to the IOCC. Christmas was glorious!
I have learned that our children fully understood our situation. They saw what we could not, that our struggles were nothing, in comparison to others. They saw the blessings that we overlooked, our home, food on the table, clothing, and family. Jesus said that unless we turn and become like children, we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. I have often wondered what that really meant. Now I know! I pray that the Holy Spirit continues to inspire our children, to teach us to become more like them.
Mark & Lynn Lockyer
To learn how you can become involved with IOCC or your local Metropolitan Committee, please visit the IOCC Get Involved Today website. If you have any questions, please contact IOCC Assistant Outreach Coordinator Megan Carniewski at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 1-877-803-IOCC.