Building on the energy and enthusiasm of past year’s advent giving, the Social Concerns Committee has arranged for opportunities to bless several organizations in Silverton and Mt. Angel which serve our friends and neighbors in need. Many members of our meeting have volunteered with, and in some cases been assisted by, these agencies.
Each week of Advent different local organizations will be the recipients of our giving. Through this mode we can bless many people in need by taking advantage of the structures in place at these various nonprofits and businesses.
In addition, the Social Concerns Committee will continue their work to help families in need of support with utilities, rent or other critical expenses through the distribution of funds specified in our budget for that purpose.
First Week of Advent – December 2nd
A Time of Hope – Once again our friend Helen Thomas who works at the high school with homeless students has helped us with an idea that will meet a big need for these and other young people. This week we will collect restaurant gift cards and certificates to be distributed to hungry kids. Purchase cards or certificates from local restaurants (fast food is fine) in small denominations that would cover the cost of one meal. We will distribute these to Helen for use with her students; the YMCA for use with kids they see in need at the swimming pool; and the Fall Line/Video Exchange businesses where they help to mentor and sometimes “parent” so many middle school students.
Second Week of Advent – December 9th
A Time of Love – Silverton Area Community Aid provides hope to many in our town by offering food assistance. We have gotten word that the usual provider of meat products is unable to give the turkeys that they have supplied in past years. There is a need for as many as 300 turkeys for the holiday food boxes that SACA distributes later this month. Bring a frozen turkey or a bag of potatoes this week and along with other donors in our community we will fill the freezers at SACA.
Third Week of Advent – December 16th
A Time For Joy –The McClaine Street Clinic in the HI-School Pharmacy complex meets the pressing need for low cost or free care to people who qualify for the Oregon Health Plan. Many of the clients here are barely able to afford their basic necessities and almost all are families with young children. This week bring disposable diapers of any size or brand that the clinic can then give out to their families with infants and toddlers. (We gave this item once in the past. When I delivered the diapers they filled a large storage closet. A week later I heard from the staff that they were all gone and had met a huge need for clients of the clinic.)
Fourth Week of Advent – December 23rd
A Time of Peace – St. Joseph Shelter in Mt. Angel provides temporary living space for people who need a place to get back on their feet. This ministry is currently undergoing a large remodel which will add seven living units for families. The director of the shelter has asked that we adopt one of these units and outfit it for use. Please take one of the cards describing the household items that are needed, then purchase that item and bring it this week. We will box up the contributions and have them ready to put in place when the shelter opens the new units in the spring.
The social concerns committee will give you regular reminders about these giving opportunities. If you would like to also make a financial contribution toward supporting the living expense needs of members of our meeting during this Christmas season, you may do so by designating your gift to the social concerns committee.
…God loves a cheerful giver [!] 2 Corinthians 9:7