February Volunteer Highlight
The Lockyer Family

This month, IOCC features Mark, Benjamin, Jordan and Rachel Lockyer of Charlotte, NC in the volunteer highlight. With the current state of the economy, the Lockyer family found themselves in a similar situation as many families in the United States facing financial difficulties. However, the Lockyer children took this opportunity as a learning experience, realizing that many people around the world faced even greater hardships. The article below, written by Mark and Lynne Lockyer, is a great Lenten reminder of the importance of helping those in need, and becoming more like children.

Unless We Turn and Become Like Children

With the economy being so bad, it is hard for the average Christian to realize that there are those, who are less fortunate than we are. In 2007, my husband and I found ourselves having to close our business, after 7 years. Finding a full time steady job was becoming a difficult task. As December approached, we wondered what Christmas would be like, for our 4 children.

My Father-in-law sends $100 for each of the children, every Christmas. My first thought was, "At least I could buy them the things that they needed". As I was discussing our situation with a friend at church, she told me about families in our area, who were not even going to be able to have a Christmas. Okay, so maybe my situation wasn't so bad.

Our children, Mark, Benjamin, Jordan and Rachel, had overheard our friend, discussed it among themselves, and decided to give our friend half of their Christmas money for needy families. I was dumbfounded! I certainly wasn't thinking about "giving money away", especially when I thought we really needed it. The next week, we gave Vivian the money, and Christmas turned out to be just fine.

In 2008, we were still struggling financially, and there was the possibility of foreclosure on our house. Our children had heard about an Orthodox Children's home in Kenya, and the concern for feeding the children there. This time, they decided to give up all of their Christmas money. Again, I was dumbfounded! I thought, "Half is one thing, but to give up all of their money". I remember thinking that they didn't understand the seriousness of our situation. They were adamant, and not only did they give all of their money, they even went to neighbors and friends, and asked for donations to add to their efforts. Again, Christmas turned out to be just fine.

In 2009, Mark was working a full time, steady job, and we were trying to get back on our feet. After having attended our annual IOCC dinner, our children decided that the IOCC would be their "Advent Project for 2009", as they called it. I knew what was coming. They again agreed to give up all of their money. This time, they also passed out IOCC fliers door-to-door, asking for donations. They were able to give over $1100 to the IOCC. Christmas was glorious!

I have learned that our children fully understood our situation. They saw what we could not, that our struggles were nothing, in comparison to others. They saw the blessings that we overlooked, our home, food on the table, clothing, and family. Jesus said that unless we turn and become like children, we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. I have often wondered what that really meant. Now I know! I pray that the Holy Spirit continues to inspire our children, to teach us to become more like them.

In Christ,
Mark & Lynn Lockyer

To learn how you can become involved with IOCC or your local Metropolitan Committee, please visit the IOCC Get Involved Today website. If you have any questions, please contact IOCC Assistant Outreach Coordinator Megan Carniewski at mcarniewski@iocc.org or call toll-free 1-877-803-IOCC.

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May 2012: Jim Angelus, Race To Respond

Fall 2011: Jan Buchanan, Integrated Direct Marketing Manager

August 2011: IOCC Romania Office

July 2011: New IOCC Metropolitan Committee

June 2011: Rada Tierney, IOCC Communications Manager

April 2011: National Volunteer Week

March 2011: IOCC Board Member, Elaine Cladis

February 2011: Emily Iglendza, IOCC Parish Representative

January 2011: Laura Nixon, IOCC Board Member

December 2010: Getting Youth Involved!

October 2010: Ioannis Apostokalis

September 2010: Presvytera Flora Moraitis

July/August 2010: Interns

June 2010: Emily Howard

May 2010: Volunteers in the Republic of Georgia

April 2010: National Volunteer Appreciation Week

March 2010: Eugenie Osmun's Sunday School Class

February 2010: The Lockyer Family

January 2010: Maria Christodoulou

December 2009: The Albuquerque Metropolitan Committee

November 2009: Anne Pourakis Alexandrou

October 2009: The Denver Metropolitan Committee

August 2009: Outreach Coordinator Megan Carniewski

July 2009: Maria Loukaki

June 2009: Ken Kasovac

May 2009: Debra George

March 2009: Nick Terezis

November 2008: Charlotte Todd

October 2008: Ruzana Hedges

August 2008: Karim Bishay

July 2008: Nick Janulis

June 2008: Health Care Kits Sent to Orthodox Communities Worldwide

Souper Bowl 2007 Champions

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Helping Moms in other Countries

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Pennsylvania School Children Earn Money For IOCC

Communicant Requests Donations For IOCC

Young Adults Assemble Kits for Babies in Need

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