In our first Sunday collecting for the Alternative Gifts, we received over $500 from the congregation!! Every dollar will go to purchasing 100 backpacks, pairs of socks, gloves, and winter hats for the guests of our Shelter and Cupboard. Week after week people ask us for sturdy bags or backpacks and we often do not have those on hand. This is our chance to provide something that is a necessity for those on the streets. A good backpack can last for years and makes it much easier to carry the essentials with you. The extra items we are putting inside are bonus items to help keep folks warm this winter.
In a great turn of luck, I have learned that we have two partners in this project. Bethesda Project, our shelter partner, also hosts a backpack drive. They offer the same items that we do plus a gift card in each backpack. We are going to work together to put all the same items into our backpacks for the shelter guys and distribute them in conjunction with Our Brother’s Place’s distribution. Kids on 12th, where Julius works, is also doing a collection of items for our Shelter and Cupboard guests. The families of the youth who are in care there will be bringing in items, and he will get them to us to organize for distribution.
Whenever someone asks me if my goals are too big, I respond “I have faith it will work out.” This has always been true for my work with Old First. Though it seems enormous to look at supplying 100 filled backpacks, I know the generosity of our congregation and the wider community. There are many individuals and organizations who are looking out for the good work Old First has been called to do and at this special time of year we are blessed to be the recipient of their generosity.
I will be set up after church for the next 3 Sundays if you would like to purchase an Alternative Gift for that special someone in your life. I have custom made greeting cards for your recipients, letting them know of the special gift in their name. For those who put money in the collection plate on December 1st and need cards, see me on Sunday.
See you in church,