Since 2010, Bless Friday® has provided an alternative to hectic Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Churches and Christians in Houston, The Woodlands, Richmond, Trinity, and Cotulla, Texas and Seattle, Washington are preparing projects that honor Christ at Christmas on Friday, November 23 and also on Saturday the 24th. These churches encourage families and individuals to celebrate Bless Friday® as an alternative to Black Friday.
This year Bless Friday will partner with RE/MAX Legacy Living and its owners Jemila and Patrick Winsey in Richmond, Texas. At 7119 FM 1464, from 9:00 a.m. to noon nearby residents and passersby will gather to fill and wrap Christmas shoeboxes for distribution by the Houston International Seafarers. Jemila Winsey says, “These boxes will lift the spirits of lonely seafarers in the Port of Houston who are confined on board and away from their family and home during the holidays.”
Houston churches’ efforts will include helping people still impacted by Hurricane Harvey; sending congregants to The Beacon, a homeless shelter established by Christ Church Cathedral; helping at the Houston Food Bank, serving lunch at Cornerstone Community and preparing the public areas of the Open Door Mission for Christmas. ODM helps addicted, homeless and disabled men. At-home activities include packing rice and beans for the Fuente Food Pantry and making emergency lunch kits for Kids’ Meals. Participating Houston area churches include Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, West University Baptist Church, Crosspoint Church and the Beacon of Light Christian Center.
Beacon of Light Christian Center, located in south Houston, will host clothing giveaway for the community on the morning of Saturday, November 25.
The Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church of The Woodlands, Texas will prepare Kids Meals and Meals on Wheels on Bless Friday at their church. They will also hold a campus cleanup and deliver breakfast to Meals On Wheels clients.
Members of Trinity Church of God, located in rural east Texas will visit Inspiration Village, a place in Trinity that enables individuals with special needs to learn, work, and grow emotionally, socially and spiritually.
Parishioners at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Seattle will serve the homeless at the St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle food bank.
Bless Friday welcomes Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Church of Christ in Cotulla, a small town in south Texas. These churches are visiting Las Palmas, the local nursing home, playing games like bingo with the residents and just spending a few hours with folks who might not get many visitors.
Chuck Fox, founder of Bless Friday®, states, “Starting your Christmas celebration with service changes how you experience the holidays. Helping others alters how you view the season. Children especially may be transformed as they shift their focus from receiving presents to serving others. Join us by choosing an activity that honors Christ, gather together your family and friends, and start your Christmas celebration with service.”
Bless Friday® was founded in 2010 in Houston to change the way Americans celebrate Christmas.