The Orchard Blog

2008 Christmas Gift Mart! by orchardblog
December 18, 2008, 12:47 am
Filed under: Advent Conspiracy, Glocal

Gift_Mart_2008_050 Gift_Mart_2008_079

Ok, so here’s how it worked:

We asked all of you –  The Orchard Community – to buy and donate brand new toys.

The toys were then taken to Bardwell Elementary School on the east side of Aurora for an event called The Christmas Gift Mart which is an amazing event put on by our friends at Community Christian Church in Naperville.

Now the cool part….in case you don’t know…

The gifts weren’t donated to families in need.  They were sold.

For $2 each.

Why?  So that parents that would normally not be able to purchase gifts for their
children would be able to do so without simply receiving a “hand-out.”

And the really, really cool part?

The money raised by the sale of the gifts was poured back into partner schools in two communities.

And get this….  The same exact thing happened in Joliet as well as Aurora!

The results?

9,500 toys collected.

1,000+ volunteers.

3,500 community members blessed in Aurora & Joliet.

$11,500 raised for schools by the Aurora Gift Mart alone!

I’m telling you…  This was one of the most amazing things I have ever been a part of!

And Orchard… guys are AMAZING!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for the 800+ toys you donated and to all of you who were a part of serving at the Gift Mart event!  What a beautiful way to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

BIG News!! by scotthodge
January 2, 2008, 12:41 am
Filed under: Advent Conspiracy, Glocal, The Orchard


As most of you know, this Christmas we challenged our church community to make relational gift giving a priority with our families and loved ones. The idea behind this was to focus on giving gifts that will last far beyond just this season.

We then asked people to take whatever money they saved by giving relationally and to give it on Christmas Eve so that we could redistribute it to those in need. Our plan was to split it right down the middle and give half to a clean water project in Africa and then give the other half to a local organization in Aurora who provides food and other essential items to those in need.

Well, let me tell you… I am BLOWN AWAY by the response! Get this…

$22,700.00 was given towards Advent Conspiracy!

I can’t even begin to tell you HOW HUGE this is! What better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus then by showing His love to those in need?!

I’ll tell you… I am SO PROUD of The Orchard Community. I love how missionally you all think and live!

I cannot WAIT to see what what’s ahead in 2008!

Posted by Scott Hodge