This is the 7th year of North Park’s “Dare to Give” initiative on behalf of Mission Services of London. Each year, we prepare close to 1000 kits throughout November and December to “meet need at the point of need” designed to provide basic needs for many in our community living in poverty.
As we participate in this , we recognize that giving blesses both the receiver of these gifts and the giver of these gifts in ways we do not always know or comprehend.
2 Corinthians 9 tells us this: ” A farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever” …..Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.”
The receivers are grateful at a time when life is very difficult. It is a way to offer them a small blessing of God when most needed.
Each year, many of you have chosen to fill one or two kits – or a number of kits – on your own, with friends and/or family, in small groups or in workplaces, with neighbours or at holiday parties.
Starting November 4-5 weekend through to December 23, pick up a kit with the bag and lists in the Gym before or after services any weekend, go fill it, and return it back to the boxes in the Gym as soon as possible over November and December. Our kits include:
Gift of Wellness –provide basic hygiene items for those who arrive at a shelter with nothing
Gift of Warmth – provide items that convey physical and caring warmth for those hard, cold days
Gift of Hope – provide basic household items for new beginnings when starting over
Gift of Rest–provide much needed bedding for those moving into housing
People living in poverty speak of a deep sadness at their often-overwhelming loss of dignity on many levels – the frustrations that come from their inability to afford even basic every day needs.
We actually don’t talk about underwear at church much, but one of the great personal gifts we can provide is the dignity that comes with new, clean underwear.
When money is scarce or non-existent, new underwear is often last on the “need” list – it becomes a luxury item. Add to this the added challenge of either not having readily available or safe laundry facilities and no extra money left to do the laundry.
This year, please consider including an added Gift of Dignity for men, women and /or children to your already thoughtful generosity. It can make a difference.
To learn more about Mission Services of London, click here.