Are you looking for a missions project for the people in your church or small group? Are you looking for a way to support missionaries as a family or individual?
Christmas in August provides a simple way you can directly help North American Mission Board missionaries by sending them supplies they need for their ministries. Most often, these are supplies that are needed in bulk.
How Christmas in August Works
Every year WMU and the North American Mission Board partner to select missionaries who will be featured in Christmas in August.
The missionaries provide a list of items they need for ministry and outreach, and the lists of requested items are posted online.
And then you — as an individual, family, small group, missions group, or church — select a missionary (or two or three) and purchase and send the items to the missionary.
The Christmas in August Experience
As with many Christian ministries, Christmas in August is more than just a random act of giving. And as a ministry of WMU, Christmas in August of course includes learning about and praying for missionaries along with supporting them! (Click here for more about why we do what we do.)
While many individuals support missionaries through Christmas in August, lots of families and children’s groups such as Mission Friends, Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, Children in Action, and others participate as a group activity.
The collective effort to purchase and gather the items, pack them, include notes of encouragement, and pray over them is all part of a meaningful opportunity to learn about, pray for, and support a missionary.
No matter how a person or group approaches Christmas in August, it’s sure to be a blessing to the missionaries as they seek to impact their community with the gospel.
We are grateful for missions advocates like you who are a part of such endeavors!
Planning a Christmas in August Group Experience
Need some ideas for how to plan and organize Christmas in August for your group? Here’s a plan you can use or adapt for your circumstances:
- Pray. Begin with a time of prayer for your Christmas in August project.
- Choose. Select the missionary or missionaries you will gather supplies for and decide which supplies you will gather. You may send several of the same item, a few of the items, or some of all of the items.
- Promote. Tell others about your project, including your family, friends, church family and colleagues. Send out a list of the items you are collecting. Share when and where to leave the gifts. Get creative as you promote Christmas in August; use social media accounts, post on your church’s website, ask for a special announcement, and place the information in your church bulletins and programs. Some churches put up Christmas trees, place cards with the requested items on the trees, and invite their members to select an item from the tree.
- Gather. Storage can be a problem for some missionaries, so please send only those items specified on their list. Send new items only. You don’t have to include everything on the list because other churches are collecting items, too.
- Pack. Gather the items your group collects and pack them for shipping. Consider placing items that could leak inside plastic sealable bags. Please don’t wrap the items, as this creates more work for the missionaries.
- Organize. To help missionaries sort through packages more quickly, label the outside of the package with the names of the items inside.
- Prepare. Address your package to the missionary at the address listed.
- Write. Be sure to write a note of encouragement or prayer for the missionary. Give the missionary your email address, in case he has time to respond. Please explain to others involved in your project that the missionaries may receive hundreds of packages, so they often do not have time to respond to each group individually. Assure others that the missionaries are very grateful for their gifts.
- Mail. Find out the exact postage needed pay for your box or boxes. If you are mailing a package to a missionary in Canada, take note of the special instructions below.
- Pray (again). Pray for the missionaries, their ministries and the people they serve. Pray over the items before you mail them. Pray that the missionaries can use your items to reach people with the gospel message.
Packaging and Mailing
- Note any particular packaging needs any mentioned by a missionary.
- If you send your package by regular US mail, be sure to have the package weighed at the post office and have the proper postage affixed. (You don’t want the missionary to have to pay postage-due charges on your gift!)
- If you send the package by United Parcel Service (UPS), use the physical street address. UPS will not deliver to a post office box.
- If mailing to Canada: Please send via US Parcel Post. Do not send via UPS, FedEx, or other courier service as they will charge customs fees to send to Canada. Complete a Customs Declaration Form at the post office when you ship your box. On the form is a box that needs to be checked: Gift. By doing this, the missionary is not required to pay any fees upon the boxes’ arrival. Visit usps.com for more information.
2023 Christmas in August Missionaries
Who: Faith Garland, Boston Ministry Center (Send Relief)
What: The Beloved Initiative
Where: Boston, Massachusetts
Why: The Beloved Initiative in Boston is an effort to serve human trafficking and sexual abuse survivors as they are brought into safe community with opportunities to be mentored and empowered to embrace new identities in Christ. One ministry of the Beloved Initiative is “Beloved Jewels” parties, during which Garland works with women to create friendship bracelets to remind them of their true worth and identity in Jesus.
- Resin or UV resin craft kits
- Polymer clay
- Earring posts and backs
- Jewelry jump rings with open connectors
- Crystal beads (various colors)
- Alphabet beads
- Elastic bracelet string cord (various colors)
- Mini craft scissors
Christmas in August, The Beloved Initiative
c/o Faith Garland, Send Relief Boston Center
88 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108
Who: Matt Hadden, Creator’s Fellowship (Send Relief)
What: Dialysis Meal Ministry
Where: Porcupine, South Dakota
Why: This program was the dream of Wilson Coleman, who was receiving treatment at a local dialysis center. Coleman, a follower of Jesus and member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe of Pine Ridge Reservation, had a desire to share Jesus and a meal with his fellow patients and community members receiving dialysis alongside him. Coleman passed before his dream could come to fruition; however, through the prayers of his wife and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, God made a way! Today, Creator’s Fellowship — a congregation averaging 50 people — provides 144 meals every week for dialysis patients.
- Sam’s gift cards
- Walmart gift cards
- Visa gift cards
Christmas in August, Dialysis Meal Ministry
c/o Matt Hadden, Čhaŋkú Wašté Ranch
118 Čhaŋkú Wašté Road
Porcupine, SD 57772
Who: Ryan Ivy, Image Church
What: Foot Washing Events
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
Why: Image Church partners with a Christian health clinic that ministers to low-income Las Vegas communities and the houseless. They offer foot washing events at which they provide much needed foot care and desperately needed resources to individuals, including the gospel.
- New socks
- New shoes
- Walmart gift cards
- Individual hand sanitizer
Christmas in August, Foot Washing Events
c/o Ryan Ivy, Image Church
10035 San Floriano Street
Las Vegas, NV 89178
Who: John Jou, 168 Church
What: Neighborhood Block Party
Where: Downers Grove, Illinois
Why: Launched during Covid (March 2021) to provide hope for its community, 168 Church includes intentional outreach and evangelism in everything it does, including partnering with a local school for those with autism, serving refugees, and building dressers for veterans transitioning into new housing. The church plans to host a neighborhood block party for its neighbors to develop new relationships and help them get to know Jesus.
- Cotton candy sugar and cones
- Popcorn kernels
- Small kids’ gifts (or Dollar Tree gift cards)
- Powdered fruit drink
- Costco gift cards
- Drink cups (hot and cold)
- Crazy straws
- Visa gift cards for tanks of helium
- Helium balloons (standard and fun party balloons)
Christmas in August, Neighborhood Block Party
c/o John Jou, 168 Church
905 59th Street
Lisle, IL 60532
Who: Steve Looker, The Refuge Church
What: Zane Gray Elementary
Where: Zanesville, Ohio
Why: The Refuge Church, a recent church replant, has adopted a local school — Zane Gray Elementary — as a place to share the love of Jesus in their community. The church currently makes “Blessing Bags” that contain meals and activities for the weekend for underprivileged children. They would like to expand their witness in the school to include teachers.
- 24-count crayons
- Colored pencils
- Kids’ scissors
- Glue sticks
- Construction paper (various colors and white)
- Loose-leaf filler paper
- Clear tape
Christmas in August, Zane Gray Elementary
c/o Steve Looker, The Refuge Church
1604 Pine Street
Zanesville, OH 43701
Who: Will Murphy, Fire Rescue Volunteer Chaplain
What: Meeting Needs for Firefighters, Victims of Disaster
Where: Tampa, Florida
Why: Fire and rescue volunteer chaplains serve firefighters and their families. They are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year, providing spiritual and peer support, building relationships, and offering Critical Incident Stress Management. Their ministry to meet physical needs, like food and drinks, as well as build relationship, earns them the right to share the life changing good news of Jesus Christ with first responders.
- Wawa gas gift cards
- Walmart gift cards
- Sam’s Club gift cards
- Visa gift cards
- Fallen Yet Not Forgotten Firefighter Thank You for Your Service Coin Bundle
- Amazon gift cards
- Publix gift cards
Christmas in August, Meeting Needs for Firefighters, Victims of Disaster
c/o Will Murphy, Fire Rescue Volunteer Chaplain
Seminole, FL 33777
Who: Leo Robinson, Good Church
What: 181 Teen Movement
Where: Flint, Michigan
Why: Good Church serves one of the lowest income areas in the nation in Flint. More pressing than the poverty, however, is the lostness of its people. 181 Teen Movement’s mission is to help at-risk teenagers change the trajectory of their lives — literally make a 180-degree turn — and bring one friend along with them in their new direction. The success of the program has actually given the church the freedom to duplicate the program in the Flint public schools, a move for which Good Church gives all glory to God.
- Gift cards (teacher appreciation, reinforce positive student behavior)
- Paper products (plates, napkins)
- School and art supplies (pencils and pens, paper)
- Solid-color T-shirts
- Student study Bibles
- Snack food
- Winter coats
- Student planners
Christmas in August, 181 Teen Movement
c/o Leo Robinson, Good Church
1034 E Holbrook Avenue
Flint, MI 48505
Who: Ryan Sidhom, River City Church
What: Birthday Celebration Kits
Where: Vancouver, Washington
Why: River City Church ministers in one of the poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Vancouver. In order to show the love of Jesus to the children of their community, the church creates birthday celebration kits for the over 900 students experiencing homelessness or in foster care in the Vancouver School District.
- Boxed cake mixes
- Cans of frosting
- $15 gift card to Walmart (to purchase a bakery cake for homeless kids who don’t have kitchen)
- Party streamer rolls
- Small packages of balloons
- Party plates
- Packs of birthday candles
- Ring pops
- $15–$20 gift for ages 5–12 (can be age and gender specific)
- $10 gift card (Walmart, Target, Starbucks, or McDonalds)
Christmas in August, Birthday Celebration Kits
c/o Ryan Sidhom, River City Church
2001 E 29th Street
Vancouver, WA 98663
Delivery instructions: Please leave package in bench on front porch.
Who: Jay Watkins, Valdosta Ministry Center
What: Camp Rock of Georgia
Where: Valdosta, Georgia
Why: In 2022, Georgia had over 11,000 children in foster care. Camp Rock of Georgia was started with the goal of placing children in foster care in Christ-filled, loving homes. Currently, Camp Rock of Georgia has placed 28 children in 13 foster families who are showing them the love of Jesus. There are thousands of at-risk children in Georgia who struggle to have their basic needs met. Camp Rock offers monthly mentoring camps to these foster and at-risk youth. At these camps, these children are invited to campus to spend a weekend with staff learning life skills, fellowshipping, and having gospel interactions.
- Sheet sets with pillowcases
- Bedding (blankets, pillows, etc.)
- Christmas stockings
- Paper products (paper towels, toilet paper)
- Plastic silverware/cups
- Tide pods
- Hand soap
- Cleaning supplies
- 50-gallon trash bags
Christmas in August, Camp Rock of Georgia
c/o Jay Watkins, Valdosta Ministry Center
1736 W. Gordon Street
Valdosta, GA 31601