Dear CCC Church Family:
This year, Connect with Community at CCC decided to veer away from the traditional Christmas basket program (as we have done it for many years) at CCC. Instead, more focused efforts were made to meet the needs of those who may not have a Christmas.
Outreach to neighbors involved in the Neighborhood Association and Hands On Ministry efforts, Rescue Mission and foster care youth were the chosen focuses this year. So that you might share in this experience, we have asked those delivering items to write a narrative of the response:
Delivering County Market Gift Cards
- Gift card recipients were chosen by a group of folks familiar with each family’s finances and current need.
From Dave Redenbaugh:
“I was glad I had the opportunity to deliver 14 County Market gift cards and fulfill more of my Christmas joy.
I called each of our recipients to determine when I could drop the cards by their homes. One of the young men called me back after I had left my number. When I went over to give him the card, he was sitting on the steps by the curb waiting for me to arrive. He was pleasantly surprised that he was receiving a gift card. I kidded him and told him he had been a good boy and that was why he was getting a gift card. He thanked me many times and told me that I probably didn’t realize how much he really needed it.
We had worked on the porch and put on a screen door during the summer for a lady who received one of our gift cards. She was still very thankful of what we had done for her; everything on the porch still looked very clean and neat. She was very surprised by the gift card and was appreciative and thankful.
When I went to the door of an elderly lady, I explained who I was and the gift card I had for her from Central Christian Church. She was very crippled and had difficulty walking, but came out on the porch to give me a hug. She asked if the woman in the car was my wife and I said yes. Then, she came all the way down the steps to go to the car and give Janet a hug. She was so happy.
Visiting all these homes and seeing how these people live is mind boggling. I knocked on one door of a very small house and a woman came to the door. Behind her I could count over 7 children and 3 adults. It reminded me of the story of the old woman who lived in a shoe with kids everywhere. The kids seemed to be happy but still you could tell they were needy. She thanked me and wished me a Merry Christmas, and the children waved to me and also wished me a Merry Christmas.”
From Janet: In addition to the other observations Dave had, he just commented that he did not notice any Christmas decorations at the homes he visited. Central provided them with a little bit of Christmas. The last woman he visited said that it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Visiting Rescue Mission
*On November 22, the CCC folks served a meal at the Rescue Mission. One never knows what other needs may surface:
“When we served lasagna at the Rescue Mission, we were told there were men who preferred to sleep on the street. That comment really tugged at my heart. The director wondered if we could donate blankets to the shelter. When Janet and I delivered 10 blankets from Central, the director broke down and cried because he was so thankful. He then explained to our men’s group the following Sunday, that he had lived this life before receiving the Lord. He had lived on the street and been involved in drugs, but now he had turned his life around. “
“When we were at the Rescue Mission, those who helped from the church went around and sat with the homeless while they ate. We are truly a church with members who care.”
From Lauren Bennett, DCFS foster care worker:
This request was made by Lauren after having become aware that standard ”Angel Tree” gifts stop at age 15. Older kids often do not receive any Christmas due to their group home or transient status. Connect with Community purchased $50 gift cards for twenty youth in care (at the store they specified). These were delivered by caseworkers before Christmas.
Our youth in care very much appreciated the gift cards donated by Central Christian Church. The cards that I personally gave to my teens were well received and made the youth very happy. I feel that the youth who received these cards and gift cards will appreciate being able to pick out what they want from their favorite stores. Some of these teens don’t have any natural supports and do not get to spend Christmas the way some do with their family and friends. The cards hopefully made them feel like a part of a family/community and that they felt loved!
May the Joy and the Spirit of the Season be with you all!
Connect with Community