This year we are shifting our focus from jointly going and helping people for Thanksgiving. We encourage you to gather your family, or a group of friends and serve a family you know that is in need. It’s more organic, and hopefully more relationally connecting, as you serve with your family and friends touching a family in need whom you know.
If you don’t know of a family in need, simply pop in any local low income apartment, knock on a door with a dinner and surprise someone.
Giving Away Turkey’s List.
2 Cans Corn
2 Cans Green Beans
1 Large Can Yams
1 Can Cranberry Sauce
1 Box Au Gratin Potatoes
1 Box Brownies
2 Boxes Mac and Cheese
1 Dinner Bag Rolls
1 Box Stuffing Mix
1 FROZEN Turkey !
Fun Stuff !
- Several families who served last year were not aware of people in such need within their very own community. They were surprised, and glad they could help, yet at the same time they were upset by what they saw. They also came away from the experience more personally grateful and thankful.
For the last twenty or so years we have consistently served, the less served of our community offering food support, encouragement and prayer. At the present time we help over eight hundred families a month. Our on-site food pantry helps four hundred families each month, each week we serve breakfast at our Riverdale Campus to one hundred and twenty or so people. We also help fifty children with backpack weekend food assistance partnering with the Hope Foundation and Fairborn Wright Kindegarten every week. Needless to say we are fully committed to make a difference offering short term care to those in need within our community.
Amazingly, we have taken hits from people who believe what we do by offering short term care is a crutch. They believe helping people with long term short team care keeps people in poverty. Although, in theory it is partly true, in reality, not.
My question, “What are people supposed to do in the mean-time?”
Believe me it is “mean-time.”
I wonder, “How people can have the energy to look for work or have a clear mind to study if they are worrying where the next meal is coming from? How can they have the where-with-all to function if they have haven’t eaten in a couple of days?”
Think family, think single mom, bills to pay and kids.
Think you, your kids, no food or being hungry for a few days?
Yes, we often meet families who haven’t eaten in a few days.
For an experiment don’t eat anything for twenty four hours and drink only water. Check out how clear you think, and how much energy your have, without food in just twenty four hours. Just eat rice and beans for a week, or try to live on three dollars a day for three days.
Each and every week I hear real life stories from the people we serve. The stories we hear often break our heart.
This past week a lady came into our party in Beavercreek. Before she could even sit down, she broke. She wept. She could barely contain her pent-up emotions in order to tell her story. Her brother died six months ago, and her mother, who has Alzheimer’s, was now in a nursing home. The activity of caring for her mom over the last four years had finally taken it’s toll upon her life mentally, physically and emotionally. She no longer had the energy, nor the ability to care for her mother. Her sense of exhaustion, personal guilt, emotional and mental pain was overwhelming.
What did she need during her “mean-time?” Yes, she need groceries, but she also needed more than food.
She needed to be in a safe, loving place where she could tell her story; receive empathatic listening; verbal encouragement, and Holy Spirit comforting connection. For her, on that day, she needed short term care. I’m personally glad we were there for her.
Think about it.
Most of us who are living in the good ole USA are just two paychecks away from being in a situation where we will be one of those who need assistance from someone. We also may find ourselves in a trying situation where we are mentally, and emotionally spent.
Often when I’m criticized I ask, “What are you doing to help people in your world?” Most often the people reply they are not doing anything, nada, zlitch. Not helping the hungry, or sponsering a child in hunger, nor volunteering their time to help someone, anyone. So I reply, “I like what we are doing, a lot better than what you are not doing.”
I often ask the question, “How can you know and see need unless you position yourself to venture out into your community in order to experience and see people the way Jesus sees people?” The answer…You can’t.
Going, seeing, serving, and praying for others is really the only way to receive a personal ah-ha moment. Going, serving and loving others is often the catalyst that sparks a greater commitment toward personal involvement, lifestyle change, and a thankful attitude.
Someone asked me, “How do you serve the less served week in and week out, it must affect you?” It does affect me. It does me good.
Going out into our community consistently helps keep me grounded, humbled, and personally grateful for all that I and my family have received… like the ability to work, pay my bills, to have heat, to have running water, to have clothing, to have a family that is somewhat normal, and to have some great relationships.
Jesus said, “The poor you will have with you always”, so I understand whatever I do in a small way, or in a great way, is good enough. I can’t possibly meet every need, but I can stop for the one, pray and give encouragement.”
How do you learn to serve? By serving.
How to you learn to love? By loving.
How do you learn to care? By seeing with your heart.
How do you learn to pray? By praying.
What we do is not rocket science by any means, it’s just faith, that works through love.