How’s it works… this year we are focusing on teachers. So we will be making their day on Valentines Day by delivering 100’s of special Valentine cupcakes to the schools. Teachers need appreciation and the outreach helps us build bridges and also meets a need in a practical way.
We will be helping the less served by placing large white bags on the chairs in our services with a fill-the-bag list. We will then use the items that come in to care for those who come to our food pantry.
Here’s how we’ve done the outreach in the past.
Instruction sheet helps people know what to do
A couple of years ago I went to the gym on one of my usual gym days. (My wife tells me it’s a good thing.)
When I arrived I asked the receptionist, ‘Have you been kissed today?’ She smiled and said, ‘Nope, not today.’ I then gave her a pack said, ‘Well you’ve just been kissed.’ She laughed and exclaimed, ‘You’re from the Vineyard right?’ I replied, ‘Yep. We are kissing people all over the city this week.’
Here’s another example of what we’ve done:
On Valentines Day we head out to a couple of strip malls near the Vineyard. We take the packs of kisses, and several buckets of carnations. We pop into the businesses and head to the customer service desk and ask, ‘How many ladies are working today?’
We then count out the flowers and Hershey packs…and say, ‘We are from the Vineyard and you’ve just been kissed.’
Usually some of the other assistants are around and join in the exchange. Often, a male worker will ask for a carnation for his girlfriend or wife. Some guys say, ‘Thanks for the reminder.’
Most people are open, curious, laugh and catch the vibe.
One Vineyard group went to a high end Spa/Hair place, all of the working ladies gathered to receive their flower. ‘Who are you guys? Others exclaim, ‘This is so cool.’ Or sigh, ‘This will be my only present today.’Flowers and kisses were also handed out to the ladies who were becoming beautiful-er.
One of the team noticed one of the ladies getting her hair cut didn’t receive a flower. So being the sensitive, thinking person she is, made an extra special effort to find another team grab a flower and run back to the shop…when she gave the lady the flower, the surprised and delighted lady exclaimed, ‘You’ve just made my day! Thank you.’
Really? Made her day? Makes me wonder what one of her days looks like? Makes me wonder if she was ever loved, or had a caring boy friend, or had husband, or is now connected to an uncaring guy?
What’s in a gift of a small flower and a pack of kisses?
I think serving others in a fun, creative way sends an upbeat message to the people in our stressed out world.Serving others often is a small action that sends a signal that says, ‘Hey, someone cares for you.’ The action preformed with genuine love somehow touches the heart.
My friend Scott, says, ‘Agape love revealed… means my love is demonstrated as I serve others through the choices I make, and by the actions I take.’
Process for Kiss Dayton:
4 weeks out: have connect cards printed (www.marketplaceprinting)
4 weeks out: order Hershey Kisses (snacc foods Cincinnati)
4 weeks out: order 4”X4” zip bags (BGR bags West Chester OH)
4 weeks out: order boxes of Carnations for pick up (Cleveland Plants and Flowers Dayton)
2 weeks out: have kids or teens pack the bags
Week of: have packs placed at all exitsValentine Day Outreach
3 days out: pick up flowers, cut stems and place in buckets of water so they will be open on the day
3 days out: design maps with instructions and contact phone numbers
3 days out: make name tags 3 days out: gather Kiss packs and place in a larger bags for transport or containers
Day of Valentines Day Outreach
Gather at 10am
Give Instructions: go to shops, go to check out or customer service, ask, How many ladies are working today, count out Kisses packs and flowers give to workers, Say, ‘We’re from the Vineyard and you’ve just been kissed.’ Also, be open to God’s leading and offer pray with people as *God space is created.Divide up into teams Load up and head out.
After project head to Caribou Coffee, or Starbucks for download and great java.