Living Gift Market
One of our favorite mission/outreach projects is the "Living Gift Market" hosted by Heifer International. Each week, we collect a children's offering at circle time that goes into a separate bank account. One week early in Advent, representatives from Heifer come to set up the "living gift market" where people can buy shares of animals. They bring a few animals along, which is a big draw for the kids. I make up vouchers for each student representing the money that has accumulated in their account and they are able to go to the market and purchase shares of animals. Before going to the market, we give them coloring papers with all the gift options and we talk about how these gifts will help struggling families. Some classes read "Beatrice's Goat." The little ones especially need to understand that they are not buying a new pet to bring home but that they are helping to buy an animal that will help someone else.