It Takes a Community–Christmas Hampers 2015
For the past 5 years TrueCity involved congregations have worked collaboratively to strengthen and broaden the ability of our congregations to provide Christmas Hampers to those in need. This year 11 churches worked together to put together and distribute more than 450 hampers. Beyond the mere statistics were a number of great stories of how our churches saw God at work in the midst of this effort. Leslie Makins from Mount Hamilton Baptist wrote this one up for us–
Volunteers from Mount Hamilton Baptist pack Hampers
They say it takes a village to raise a child. I would have to add that it takes a community to do Christmas Hampers! It is so powerful to see church communities join together—each doing what they are able—to bless others who can use a helping hand at Christmas.
Like 2014, we were prepared to do 100 hampers. As most annual ministries go, we made a few tweaks to the process, which included referral forms and a December 4th submission deadline. The referrals came in… and in… and in… and by the time December 4 rolled around, we had exceeded our maximum of 100! We faced more need and requests than ever before. We were not sure what to do—do we stick to our cap, or do we take a leap of faith and trust God with the logistical challenges as well as our need for 23% more food? We quickly decided the latter.
Volunteers from TrueCity churches help with Hughson Street Baptist hampers
That Sunday morning our pastor, Leanne Friesen, made an announcement and explained the situation. She challenged each person to increase their food donation by two items, and to do so by the following Sunday. What happened was like candles and sprinkles being added to an already beautiful cake. Up until that day, both our church and our sister churches had been graciously donating food for this ministry; but after Leanne’s words the floodgates opened and even more food poured in. People asked if there were specific needs and brought in larger quantities of those items. Those who could not help with actual food items donated financially. We were, and continue to be, so thankful for God’s faithfulness and for the people who responded to this need.
It took a community of donators, packers, drivers, sorters, organizers, and loaders to make 123 hampers come to life. But more importantly, that community made 123 homes just a little bit brighter this Christmas by sharing God’s love through boxes of food.
Mount Hamilton Baptist Church