LaTorria Lyons is taking the giving part of Christmas seriously — so seriously that she involves not only her family but anyone else who wants to get in on it.
This is the second year of a project she started last Christmas called Lyons Stockings of Love.
“I wanted my kids to realize how blessed they were and to get a look at life from a different perspective,’’ she said.
“I told them they had to be a blessing to somebody else. It’s unfortunate we as parents give our kids a whole lot and they really don’t have to work or do anything. We feel we owe our kids so much sometimes. I wanted my kids to get an experience and to see that we have a house to live in (whereas) somebody else may live in a tent.’’
So, she challenged her children to find a way to spread love to those who don’t experience love on a daily basis.
“That’s what Jesus would do,’’ Lyons said. “I don’t believe he would be sitting home opening gifts. I think he would be out spreading love. That’s how it started.’’
Lyons asked her children how they wanted to share love. They elected to identify things that the homeless need on a daily basis and deliver the items to them.
As a result of that conversation, a year ago, Lyons and her children bought stockings and filled them with a variety of items like soap, deodorant, washcloths, hats and gloves.
“We put in potato chips and water bottles, things they need that we take for granted,’’ she said. She and her children, along with some friends, stuffed the stockings and delivered them on Christmas Day last year, a total of 50.
Because of some problems they encountered doing the delivery on Christmas Day, Lyon has decided to make her rounds on Christmas Eve this year.
Anyone who would like to make a donation or who would like to help stuff the stockings and make deliveries on Christmas Eve can call Lyons at 910-884-8268. The deadline for donations is Friday, Dec. 21.
The list of items requested for donation this year appears in the photograph accompanying the article.
While Lyons lives in Hope Mills, she doesn’t limit the reach of her goodwill to the Hope Mills community.
One of the first places she visited last year was the Person Street Bridge in Fayetteville, a place where some homeless people seek shelter.
“That was humbling for my kids,’’ she said. “They had never experienced anything like that. We take for granted sleeping in a bed.
“Let’s just spread love. The whole project is giving love.’’