by: Faith Amargo
In December, I hosted #TheGivingMeet in conjunction with Angel Tree, a local ministry that gives Christmas presents to children whose parents are incarcerated. We received about 19 profiles of children and families with their ages and gift preferences written-out by their parents, and purposed to buy gifts for every one of them. Everyone who attended The Giving Meet each brought brand new toys, accessories, blankets and other gifts that we collected at the beginning of the meet before heading out on a photo walk at the Warm Springs Reserve in Murrieta. Casey and Brooke from @GivePerf joined us and donated some sweet blankets to give to the families we were sponsoring. @GregKesterMusic joined in the fun and encouraged people attending his concert to bring toys for this event as well. We had grammers from the Inland Valley and San Diego county to show up, and it was inspiring to see people come together with the sole purpose to bless people we never met and may never meet on this side of eternity this Christmas season.
I can talk at length about how sweet it was to make new friends and venture out with familiar ones on that photowalk, but there is something to be said about just how many presents we were able to put together. Our photo walk ended at @OFCmurrieta, a local coffee shop, where we had a gift-wrapping party over some pizza, correlating toys, clothes, blankets, accessories, etc. with children and families. I was prepared to be short a couple of gifts so I can go out and buy them later, but we had just enough for every Angel Tree profile. It was especially heartwarming loading all these wrapped presents in my car and delivering them to @calvaryvista (who were pleasantly surprised by how "all out" we went with these gifts) to be personally delivered by some wonderful church volunteers.
It is indeed more blessed to give than receive. It's when a community comes together for a project like #SocalityGiftProject that we can put love on display in a powerful way. While our gifts may be anonymous and we may not receive recognition for them, we can always credit the One who gave us every blessing so we can bless others.
by: Greg Kester
The Socality Gift Project was such a joy to be a part of! I definitely get filled from creating and listening to music. To me, that is a gift. I also love the idea of using our creativity itself as a gift for others as well as a connection point for additional tangible gift-giving. Creation and connection. I was excited for the gift project in December and I soon heard from @faithology that our local southern California Socality community was having a meetup right around the time I was playing a show opening for the phenomenal musician Josh Garrels. Socality San Diego would be holding "The Giving Meet" working in conjunction with Angel Tree to provide and donate brand new Christmas gifts to families and children whose parents are incarcerated. I thought this was a great opportunity to partner my music with the local and global Socality project. At the show and online, I announced the Socality gift project and that 50% of proceeds from my merchandise sales at the Josh Garrels show would be used to purchase gifts for the Giving Meet. I was so blessed to be able to perform at the show, meet so many people, and receive so much support.
Many concert-goers even donated a little extra to the gift project while purchasing CDs. I feel everyone was able to get something positive out of the experience. The Giving Meet was so much fun and we were able to get gifts for everything that was on the donation list. I got to hang out with a bunch of people that I had not seen since Socality live PDX and met tons of new friends as well. We had an evening of exploration, getting to photograph during the golden hour and then all went back to wrap gifts, eat food, and hang out for the evening. We had lots of laughs, music, and overall good cheer. I’m really looking forward to the next Socality projects and meet ups. Good times, wonderful people, great mission.