Roy Russell, founder of The Life Financial Group in Douglassville, PA, created the Surprise Package Company as an avenue to teach his children generosity. Every year around Thanksgiving, Roy and Lana Russell would make time to sit down with their four children and talk about what they could do to bless other families who were struggling financially during this Christmas season.
“We would often speak with our pastor and other leaders in the community, seeking to reach out to individuals or families in need. A whole new world was opened up to my children,” Roy explains.
As a family, the Russells would then decide on four individuals or families who they could bless. They looked for genuine needs such as loss of a job, health problems, loss of a spouse, etc. They were careful not to enable the lazy or help the foolish. It takes time and is not always easy but the rewards are priceless!
The Russell family would place a $100 bill in an envelope, write the person’s name on the front and prepare to deliver it.
As Christmas time approached, the Russells would drive out to the families’ houses and each child would sneak up to a house to deliver the envelope while the rest of the family parked out of sight. Their goal was to slip it in the door and ring the doorbell several times or knock hard and run. The fun part is not getting caught! They would watch in secret to see the person open the envelope. They occasionally knew the people who they were giving to, but were instructed never to tell anybody.
As the parent, Roy had to plan every year for the next Surprise Package Co. and save money; the Russell family normally would give away $400 ($100 per child). This will be a sacrifice for many with young children but should become a priority.
As the children grew older, they looked forward to this event and wanted to give of their own money. They also grew more thankful for what they had and no longer took things for granted. What a wonderful teaching opportunity!