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Showing posts with label helping the homeless. Show all posts
Showing posts with label helping the homeless. Show all posts

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Opportunity to Care

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 
James 2:15-16

If you've followed my blog in the past, you know that homelessness is a problem I care very much about.  As much as I enjoy the snow and cool weather, my heart aches for those with no shelter as I watch those first winter flakes drift downward.  There is another group for whom I feel equal, if not more, compassion... teenagers in foster care.  I never thought about how those two groups are linked... until our church was visited by Pastor Ryan from Shelter Church, and he told us about New Family Tree ministry.

Did you know that 60% of teens in foster care end up homeless when they turn eighteen?  Did you know that one out of four homeless adults spent time in the foster system?  These are local statistics, but I'm fairly certain they are similar in other areas of the U.S. 

Pastor Ryan is attempting to draw attention to this problem, and raise funds for  a solution!  For the month of January, he is living in a van in Dayton, Ohio.  He is twittering his experience, as well as doing a daily vlog entry.  You can follow Ryan on facebook, or on his website 30dayshomeless.   He is hoping to raise funds to help support the New Family Tree ministry that will provide housing and guidance for those teens 'aging out' of the foster system.  His hope is to help these kids adjust to life in the adult world, enroll in college, find jobs, and provide shelter during this transitional time in their lives.

Please, take the time to watch his vlog and read the webpages.   Share this event with others.  If you feel the call to do something, your reward will be great.  Think what a difference you could make in the life of a young person... a person with no one else to turn to...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Think INside the Box...

...a simple way to make a difference.

If you read my past blog posts, you know that I advocate helping the homeless and the poor.  On my sidebar are a couple of links to organizations that do just that.... one large, one small. 

This is the dining hall where Target: Dayton! feeds the homeless and poor.  They also witness to them about Jesus.  Click the link on my sidebar to learn more about their ministry.

Here are some of the hats,scarves and gloves that Sandy collected for the homeless that live under a bridge in her city.  Check out her blog for the Bridge Project

At my former job, some co-workers and I adopted a family for Christmas.  We went through another employee's church that organized families' needs.  We used our coffee pot money and donations to go on a shopping spree.  This particular single mom was able to give her kids a wonderful Christmas!  And the fun we had shopping for those kids was unmatched by anything else that holiday!

One year, this same group took up a collection for the Dayton food bank.  I called the woman in charge, and she told me that the things they needed most were toiletries; toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, etc.  After I got it OK'd through the powers that be I ran off flyers to hang on bulletin boards throughout the plant.  As we filled huge boxes, we would deliver them after work.   I remember one guy, after telling his dentist about our project, came in with tons of toothbrushes!

Do you work in a place that could team up the same way?  Most people are willing to contribute to such a collection, if someone takes the first step in organizing it.  Maybe you could be that someone...
In a recent post, The Meaning of Christmas, Rae, over at Weather Vane, tells of a yearly tradition her family has of filling a box for a local shelter.  Even the grandkids get in on the act!  It's such an easy thing to do.  Imagine if every family you knew did that!  Imagine your local shelter receiving hundreds
of boxes filled with essentials for their clients.

There are many ways to help that need not be expensive or time consuming.  Please, whatever you do, don't think it's too late because Christmas is right around the corner...  Their needs aren't over when the decorations come down.   As a matter of fact, donations often pick up around Christmas time, when people are feeling the Christmas spirit of giving, but drop off steeply following the new year. 
Most food banks are facing huge crises because of the staggering unemployment levels.  You don't even have to buy food and haul it to them...  You can send them a check.

I think that the best way to make a big impact, is to recruit others.  That is the purpose behind these posts.  Hopefully, many will be inspired to do something small, and together, all those things will build a mountain of love.  Won't you join in?

I would love to hear from you on any traditions you have that make a difference to the needy in your world.  Do you have a simple way to give that you would like to share?