Unfortunately, those big holidays are great reminders for people to feel grateful for all they have and to reach out, to share. However, there are no such reminders May through September and as Jesus said in Matthew 26, “The poor you will always have with you…” So, what’s a ministry to do in accomplishing its mission of mobilizing the community? Get creative!
A couple years ago a small boy came into the Ministry Support office with his red wagon holding a box that was filled to the brim with canned foods; cans he had collected in his neighborhood by going door-to-door. He couldn’t have been a day over 8 years old.
Middle school and high school groups have collected new, clean socks and donated bundles of them. Some teens have held coat drives during the winter months and in time to distribute them at the major events in November and December.
Churches have invited our donation truck to come and park on their property for a Saturday or Sunday so their congregation and neighbors can conveniently bring their donation items down the street. Small groups have adopted landscaping, gardening, painting, and clean-up projects for one day or spanning a couple of weeks.
Families can host a home party to collect items such as frozen turkeys, pillows and bed linens while incorporating learning materials and an experiential activity such as “Bedtime in the Backseat” – where parents learn about the challenges of living in a car while trying to do simple tasks such as reading a bedtime story, preparing a snack, and tucking-in the children for sleep in the backseat of the family car.
Excellent ideas abound because the need is so great and varied. The goal isn’t to just go shopping for these much-needed things, but to invite your family, friends, and neighbors to take the journey with you. In this way you share your experience with others and learn from their perspective as well.