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Black Friday normally kicks off the Christmas season with shopping, but for the past 10 years, churches and Christians in Houston have kicked off the day after Thanksgiving with service projects that honor God instead, deeming the occasion, Bless Friday®.

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A press release states:

Houston churches’ efforts will include; sending congregants to The Beacon, a homeless shelter established by Christ Church Cathedral; helping at the Houston Food Bank; assisting at The Forge, a mission to families in an economically disadvantaged area; holding a clothing give away; and preparing the public areas of the Open Door Mission for Christmas. ODM helps addicted, homeless and disabled men. At-home activities include packing rice and beans for the Fuente Food Pantry, making Christmas Blessing Boxes for the Seafarers Mission at the Port of Houston and making no-sew pillows for the Amazing Place, a wellness center for people dealing with dementia.

Bless Friday® was founded in 2010 and has expanded from Houston to other Texas cities including The Woodlands, Katy, Trinity and Cotulla. The movement has even reached Seattle, Washington.

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“Starting your Christmas celebration by helping others changes how you view the season,” Bless Friday® founder Chuck Fox says. “Children especially may be transformed as they shift their focus from receiving presents to serving others.”

For more information on how to get involved with the service projects, visit


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Black Friday Alternative, “Bless Friday,” To Celebrate 10 Years  was originally published on