Friday, August 30, 2013

F is for the Least of these

 
http://www.pattywysong.com/2013/07/a-to-z-meme.html

 

 This is the 6th  week of the A to Z blog meme. This weeks'  blog hop is sponsored by the letter "F". Click on the link below the  logo to read more about the meme.

 

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40 NIV
 
This past Saturday, August 24, I participated in a community outreach program known as Hand 2 Hand.  It was a time to help people in the community by offering food, medical exams, vision screenings, dental exams, haircuts, clothing, and to the first 500 kids, school supply-stocked backpacks. In addition, breakfast and lunch were provided, as well as presentation of the Gospel, and an area where people could have prayer for their needs. All free of cost. There was also activities for the kids, as well as face painting and kettle corn, and other kid-friendly snacks. The local police department had a booth and gave out goodies to the kids, and there were many booths of info on low-cost resources. My church was one of the sponsors and planners of the event, and this was the second year that I was a volunteer.
 
 
The last couple of years, the event was held on my church's campus in a more affluent city, and there was not that great of a turn out. This year, it was held in a nearby city that has a greater needy population and the event  took place on the campus of a middle school.
 
My role this year was to sit at the entrance table and help get people registered and answer any questions. Last year, I had assisted the families in picking out clothing, but this year, I'm unable to do long term standing/walking, so needed a sit-down job. (Pending hip replacement surgery) We were stationed below a nice shady pop-up shelter, so not greatly affected by the gradual warming of the day.
 

                           Guest waiting in line
 
















Volunteers arrived at 7am to set up the individual stations. The organizers had done a great job in placement of services and where volunteers were helping out. We were identified by fluorescent colored name tags. Our guests, the participants, were given white name tags. The population in this neighborhood is predominately Hispanic, and so we had a lot of Spanish speaking helpers. There were other churches involved.

I heard stories from the organizers of  how so many of the services offered resulted from God's intervention! People spoke up because of over-hearing conversations. I understand that the principal of the school was very involved in getting use of the campus facilities. The medical services were provided by the local Western University of Health Science students and their instructors. What was really cool for me is that the physician who oversees the clients in my 3 group homes was helping out, as he is a instructor for the university's  medical assistant program. He brings his students to care for our developmentally disabled clients every other month!
 
 


The event was  well organized, but of course, there were minor problems that occurred; but we overcame and adjusted as needed. There was plenty of bottled water to go around to keep everyone hydrated.
 
The event was scheduled to end at 1:30, but by 12:30, the line was gone, so people started tearing down certain stations. There was still stacks and stacks of clothing so people were instructed to take as much as they wanted, rather than the limit posted at the beginning. Still, a lot of clothes were left and they were destined  for  a local thrift store that  benefits particular non-profit organizations.



At the end of my shift,   I was hot, tired and in pain, but also happy to be able to have had the opportunity to help others. I felt that the majority of  people we served this day were appreciative and I pray that we were Jesus to them.


13 comments:

  1. What a great ministry to others. Sometimes it's so hard to remember that there are others out there less fortunate than we are who need help.

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    1. That's so true- we get caught up in our own issues and forget there are others who have it worse.

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  2. What a blessing this event must have been to the people who came and to the volunteers too. Good job, Barbara.

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    1. It really was worth all the hard work so many people put into it!

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  3. What a wonderful event and lesson for all of us. Go where the needy are. We need to be doing more of that. Thanks for posting, Barbara!

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    1. Does make sense- go where the needy are. Thanks for your response!

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  4. I love how you overcame the limitations and were able to contribute as a volunteer. Really enjoyed learning about some of the details of how this event works. Thanks so much Barb!

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    1. Thanks, Linda! I think you were also a part of this somewhere, right?

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  5. Wow! What a wonderful thing to do and a fabulous turnout! I bet you were tired after a long day in the sun, but what a blessing you were to so many. You take great pictures, Barbara.
    Wishing you a Son-kissed weekend, my friend. :)

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  6. I'm always thrilled to hear how Christ-followers are reaching out to their community. I liked the fact that the group took the event to the area where the needy people were - good strategy. Praying that the Lord will work in the hearts of the people you served and that they might seek Jesus because of the love you all showed.

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    1. That's our prayer, too! Thanks for stopping by!

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