Helping Our Neighbors Stay Warm

Woman & grandchildren, by trudeau, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  trudeau 

On behalf of everyone here at Urban Ministry, thank you for your recent and generous contributions.  Between several closings due to inclement weather, some of the lowest temperatures on record, our broken office heater (for the first three weeks of the year), and now many people’s requests for utility and food assistance, your dollars have been stretched in unusually long ways.  You have made a positive difference in the lives of those we serve, and you have also allowed our staff to feel the warmth of hospitality as our office heater was restored to working order.

As I admired the winter wonderland through our home’s front storybook window, I could not help but think of how creative God is to provide us with such a beautiful picture through snow and ice, and yet I also could not help but think of Ms. Claudia, our neighbor in West End, who I know tries to conserve all the electricity she can by only running her space heater at bedtime.  I worry about her – period; however, I was particularly concerned during those very cold days, as I am certain you must have been, also.  Because of generous and faithful people like you, Urban Ministry is able to both assist neighbors like Ms. Claudia with electric bills, and we are able to engage her through weekly seniors chair yoga classes and worship, too.

Thank you for remembering us – and people like Ms. Claudia – with your generous support.  We appreciate your prayers, too, as we go about God’s work of being present to people’s lives during their greatest moment of need, as well as during their regular, weekday world.  As we remember the difference we collectively make for people like Ms. Claudia, our staff has recently compiled our 2013 Annual Report.  Like the year prior, we served more people than ever before, and our volunteer hours increased dramatically, too.  A copy of the Report is here, and I hope that you will take a moment to absorb the many ways you have joined our efforts so that together we serve others through programs of compassion and wholeness.

As March nears, we are reminded of another important date:  Ms. Belle’s retirement from 31 years of service through Community Kitchen on June 30. Last year Ms. Belle led our staff and volunteers in serving more than 26,000 meals to nearly 2,000 people.  This is staggering to me/us, especially when you take a moment and do even an average calculation of her 31 years of meals served – wow!  We will honor Ms. Belle at an upcoming event and will make sure you are included.  In the meantime, Ms. Belle can always use an extra pair of hands to help serve hungry people.  Call her at 781-0517, or speak with Danny Jones at the same number, just in case she’s busy serving people – her favorite thing!

With deep gratitude…

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