I'm talking about the Bethlehem Christmas Project and Christmas Care Packages for Utah soldiers.
The Bethlehem Christmas Project partnered with Musalaha (a non-profit organization promoting reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians) to bring together former Israeli soldiers and Palestinians to deliver Christmas gifts to children in Bethlehem. The goal is to bring some modicum of joy to Palestinian children, build bridges of understanding between Americans, Israelis and Palestinians, and last but not least, educate Americans on the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as perceived by everyday Israelis and Palestinians.
I thought this was a great idea, because it's a "grassroots" effort, and I think that individuals are the only ones who can solve the kinds of problems they are facing. I blogged about the Bethlehem Christmas Project before, and I think it's a wonderful idea. Ali Elhajj, one of the founders, recently sent me a message through Facebook, and I'm waiting to hear back to see how the project is going. I'll give an update when I hear. In the meantime, participate or donate, if you're so inclined.
Today on KCPW, I caught a snippet of two wives whose husbands are deployed to Iraq. They have a project going to send Christmas Care Packages to Utah soldiers. Regardless of how I feel about the war, or the politics of the war, I'm very grateful to the soldiers who are serving this country. Their web site says:
Our goal in this event is to send an individual care package to each Utah soldier for Christmas. They sacrifice so much and go without so many things we take for granted. We would like to give some of that back. Truly, the purpose of this campaign extends far beyond the gift boxes that will be sent; it is an endeavor to generate a sense of unity and community throughout this great state. Utah’s National Guardsmen represent more than just their own families; they represent Utah—
And they do so with pride and honor.
The suggested Care Package items are very basic, so it should be easy for anyone and everyone to participate.