$3.50 christmas!


FRIENDS. I am so stinking proud to know you.


And some of you are brand new here, and we don’t really know each other at all, and I AM STILL SO PROUD OF YOU.

towel2Yesterday, the lot of you just flat-out blew my flip-flops off (no socks here in tropical Cambodia).

To recap (in case you missed the GIVING WHIRLWIND): I talked to Sineath (one of the fearless leaders at the Boys Center) yesterday morning, and she mentioned wanting to give the kids (300 of them!) each their own towel for Christmas.

An idea pops into my head. MY AMAZING GENEROUS PEOPLE will give their brains out if I only just tell them about the opportunity.

I was so right. But you just went so far above and beyond. Geesh.

blog6I blogged about the towels at 7:30pm (my time–we’re 12 hours ahead of most of you), and by 11:30pm, you had given ALL 300 TOWELS.


I went to bed after midnight GIDDY.

And this morning, on our way to the Boys Center in the tuk-tuk, I got a text from Alli (the HPC Director who’s in the States until Monday): “Marla! So excited about the towels!!!”

“I know!!” I said. “WHAT ELSE CAN WE GIVE?!?!”

blog1I told her about an idea I had for the beginning of the year (2016), and she said, “Let’s think about that, but actually, we still have some needs for the kids for Christmas…”

“BRING IT,” I said.

I told her to give me details. That my people–and their people and their people’s people–would be on it like…” (and I totally blanked on a sufficient simile)

(like syrup on pancakes? like ketchup on french fries? like sour cream on a Chipotle burrito?)



On December 7, 8, and 9, the Hard Places Community Staff would love to treat ALL 300 KIDS (in 6 shifts of 50) to two-and-a-half hours at this really cool indoor play place (think ball pits & jumpy things and swingy things and all kinds of crazy awesomeness) AND a full meal (burger/chicken, fries, and drink) at Burger King.

balls2.5 hours at play place = $3.50.

Meal at Burger King = $3.50.

An adventure to remember for a sweet little kiddo this Christmas = $7.

Oh. My. Gosh.

The madness. The exhilaration. THE FUN.

Our family got to be a part of this whole Christmas extravaganza at a play place + burgers & fries back in 2011 (on a smaller scale–there are soooo many more kids now!) and it was A BLAST.

blog3(One of my favorite things is to watch all the kids put on socks–some for the first time. Socks are required at the play place for hygiene reasons–dirty feet are the norm here–and some of these kids are wearing them for the first time. I personally haven’t worn socks since January 2 of this year.)

So. Friends. Here we go again!! If you missed the towel-giving (or even if you didn’t), what a fun Christmas gift to buy!

If you (or one of your kiddos) would like to sponsor a kiddo (or 2 or 4) to play at the play place for $3.50 or eat at Burger King for $3.50 (or both for $7), YOU WOULD BE SUCH A BLESSING.

I can promise you it’s one of the coolest Christmas gifts you’ll ever give.

blog2Just click to donate here (it’s tax-deductible!) and write “HPC Christmas” in the memo.

(Some of you had some trouble finding this yesterday, and that’s because it doesn’t say “memo.” Right under where it says Hard Places Community–your recipient–there’s a line to click that says “note to Hard Places Community”–click that sentence and you can write “HPC Christmas.” I know it works, because I just started us off with a $3.50 donation.)

And, like I said before, I can’t post pics of kids’ faces, but I will take some shots for sure so you and your kiddos can see your gift in action.

We have ONE WEEK to GIVE a play place adventure and a delicious (if slightly unhealthy) meal to:



(and a $3.50 gift is NOT TOO SMALL–I promise!!)

And, last thing, when you donate, please leave a comment here or on Facebook or shoot me an email, so I can keep us all updated on how many more kiddos we need to BRING JOY TO.

Are we READY??? SET???? GIVE!! And SHARE with your awesome, sweet generous friends!!


42 thoughts on “$3.50 christmas!

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  3. Kim still

    Just explained to the girls what this was and both gave $7 of there allowance and I matched it total of 5 kiddos.. Hope they have a blessed day

  4. Candice

    Covered 2 kiddos on behalf of my two kiddos. Burger King and germy ball pits are universally the epitome of childhood joy 🙂

  5. Joel Klampert

    Gabe and Marla,
    I just donated $50 for this…
    I have still yet to meet either of you in person, but your faith inspires me.
    I have been web friends with Gabe for a LONG time now and been praying for you guys in all the hard times.
    I also know that typing isn’t always as valuable as the presence of a person or a hug, but know this…

    The Lord loves you all.. He loves you just how you are and qualifies you because you are called! He did not call you to love people because you had it all together. He called you to love people recklessly because you know first hand what it looks like to be loved when you don’t feel like you are worthy of being loved. Our God breathed star into existence which means he can create something from nothing! In your instance he is not creating from nothing. He is creating from little mud men that he breathed life into and made in his PERFECT image to do great works for him.

    So I know it’s hard.. I am in ministry too. it’s VERY hard. But God is Good and he loves you and he will never give you more than HE can handle… but even more so you are a son and daughter of the King of Kings and heirs to the throne of heaven.. Speak and breathe life into your community with AUTHORITY!

  6. Sabrina Reinhart

    13 kids for my 13th wedding anniversary! I felt sad for myself that i was too sick with a cold to go out to dinner with my husband, but maybe this was why? God is Good.

  7. Keviana

    My dear friend Renee shared your story on Facebook. Was totally touched and had to give a little! I hope God multiplies this beyond your wildest dreams! Blessings.

  8. Grace

    We donated for 4 kids for both the play place and Burger King. With love from me and my husband, and our boys Diego and Yael!

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