Announcement: A few words on Operation Christmas Boxes & The Food and Blanket Drive from the Senior Warden
2016 OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD BOXES
In late September, I provided the congregations with 25 Operation Christmas Child Boxes. After being blessed at the altar during the 11/13 10:30AM service, I delivered 15 boxes to the drop off trailer in front of the First Christian Church, Sierra Vista. There were 5 empty boxes in the entry way on Monday, leaving 5 still out. I asked for those still out to be return to the drop off trailer before 3PM Monday November 21. One of those boxes appeared on the church pew sometime after that date. It will be held in storage to be delivered next year. Thank you to all who filled a box and ensured a child in one of the 3rd world countries will have a gift this year. The missionaries who deliver them report how excited both children their parents are when the truckload of Christmas boxes arrive. These are children of God who have not yet learned of their Savior, Jesus Christ. They are given simple, in their own language, books to learn about God and Jesus. Their “Sunday School” teaches them and in time they receive a diploma and are baptized. After that they go on to be confirmed and often bring their friends and more family members to attend the classes. Whole villages are receiving the Good News for the first time.
Please remember the world’s children when saying your daily prayers.
Blessings to all, Dottie Gutwein, Senior Warden
November 18 & 19, 2016
With much gratitude to everyone who contributed to our Thanksgiving food and blanket drive, I offer the following information:
All Saints Episcopal Church, Safford, AZ, Mindy Weisser-Lee (director for the annual food drive for Bylas area) had obtained 35 family names from the Community Health Center staff. We set up tables and the cases of food outside the Thriftee Food Store in Safford. Boxes showing the areas of Bylas and family code #’s were carried along the tables by 6 packers. There were 3 young people and 2 members of All Saints Church and myself. Mindy and her husband, Ken, oversaw the production line. Rev. Allison Cornell, interim vicar for All Saints, and a visitor from California explained to shoppers who approached our work area asking questions. They also had a Donation Jar for folks to contribute toward the December Delivery. A reporter from the local newspaper, Northeast Courier, interviewed our group and took pictures for the next week’s edition. Through the generosity of St. Stephen’s Church, I delivered 50 blankets and 70 knit hats and scarfs. After all the vehicles making delivery on Saturday were loaded with grocery boxes, we all retired to All Saints church for a soup and salad supper provided by Mindy and Ken. The blankets and hats had been sorted into bags for delivery by name and area and stored in the church hall. On Saturday morning, all drivers arrived at church to pick up the frozen turkeys and bags of blankets/hats for each of the families on their delivery list.
In convoy, we headed to the Community Center at Bylas, met with our individual guides and took off to make deliveries. By noon everyone had finished, dropped off the guides and headed home. It is always such a pleasure to meet the families and see the faces of the children when they see their feast food and warm blankets/hats arrive. An extra blessing, on top of Rev. Allison’s prayer and blessing over the food boxes and blanket/hat bags, came as we were working in front of the store. A shopper recognized Ken from his “before retirement” job. She had connections to the local United Way foundation. Apparently, the organization had written a check for $2500.00 for another group in Safford who wanted to do a similar food delivery. The organization never picked it up and they were not able to reach them. The lady told us that she would drop off the form to request the grant and that if returned to her, signed by Rev. Allison, she would see to it that All Saints receive the $2500.00. It can then be used for the December food drive, along with individual monetary contributions.
The next delivery will be December 16/17. It would be wonderful to be able to include more used, clean blankets or sleeping bags with the already promised hats/scarfs when I leave early 12/16 to return to Safford. The thrift stores around town are a good place to shop for blankets. They may be left on the side pews and will be blessed at the altar Sunday December 11.
Thank you, Dottie Gutwein, Senior Warden