WOW! Is all I can say about what was done through the people of Element Church for the families we adopted this Christmas. So amazed at what everyone did to make this happen. A HUGE thank you should go out to Dava, who did an unbelievable job heading this thing up. Also, thank you to all the teams and team leaders that worked under Dava making all this possible. I wouldn’t have time to say thank you to everyone who helped in one way or another. Hope everyone had an AWESOME Christmas! Here is the recap that I shared with the church on Sunday from Dava.
There’s no way to give a complete itemized report of everything that was done for the families in the outreach. The outpouring of love and generosity by the volunteers and members of Element Church was overwhelming!!
Although the project was quite a bit more complicated than it maybe needed to be, the complexity of it allowed ANYONE who wanted to be involved the opportunity to do so. Hundreds of elementers either led or volunteered on a team; bought a gift from the Giving Tree; donated services, clothes, gift cards, appliances or furniture; made a fleece blanket; cooked a meal; delivered gifts; moved or assembled furniture … it was truly “each of us doing something” and the impact was HUGE!
Because Fusion and a few Element families decided to adopt additional families on their own, we ended up serving closer to 25 families in the outreach instead of 25. ALL of the families were blessed, and most of them were completely blown away!
–Every family received gifts from the Giving Trees — more than 300 gifts were purchased, including thousands of dollars in gift cards. Every family was provided with either groceries for a holiday meal, a meal cooked and delivered to them, or a family hosting them for dinner. Many teams also bought Christmas decorations and stockings for their families.
–The moms will be pampered … some of them with free facials or massages and all of them with a pampering gift bag. Each of the homeless family members and babies got a homemade fleece blanket, and moms of infants also received a baby sling.Several families are also getting free haircuts donated by Elementers.
–The team leaders also identified the most pressing financial needs of the families, and through donations and the generosity of the volunteers we were able to multiply the $8000 given by Element Church allocated for this outreach.
–Thousands of dollars in groceries, diapers, toiletries, gas cards, phone minutes and other day-to-day necessities were donated or purchased for the families.
–Around $1,200 was paid toward utility bills. Several families were months behind, facing shut-off of their heat, power and/or water, and Element Church prevented that for all of those families, and helped most of them get completely caught up on their utility bills.
–One team member wrote a $200 check on the spot when they heard their family didn’t have all of their rent money for December.
–One mom had to close her home daycare when her son was born with Blue Baby Syndrome and spent the first several months of his life at Denver Children’s Hospital enduring multiple heart surgeries. Her husband was laid off for missing too much work, and the family was left with no income and mounting medical bills. The dad eventually got another job but the family is months behind on their bills. Element Church paid two car payments for them, keeping their car from being reposessed.
–Several families needed car repairs, and mechanics from Element donated their labor while the church paid for some of the parts. Two families got new tires … one set was purchased by an Element family.
–Some furniture was purchased by the church, but Elementers donated thousands of dollars worth of clothes, household items, coats, toys, furniture and appliances. Three or four families got washers and dryers, and one student got a new laptop! Two of the homeless families will be moving into a transitional housing facility that was just purchased by Cheyenne Interfaith Hospitality Network. We completely filled the upstairs and basement apartments of the house with furniture, bedding, towels, dishes, pots and pans, small kitchen appliances, TVs and DVD players, a computer and more!
–One homeless single mom and her kids received plane tickets from her parents to visit them in California for Christmas. Their team provided the family with transportation to the airport and a hotel room and dinner in Denver the night before their flight.
But the greatest blessing of all … The team leaders and their volunteers have been building friendships with the families, sharing the love and Gospel of Christ with them.
–One teen will receive free spiritual counseling through Biblical Concepts in Counseling.
–Two teams will be taking their single moms to LCCC to learn about the assistance programs that will allow them to get an education and permanently change their lives.
– At least three of the families have been to Sunday services at Element. One family is already Christian. At least TWO people from the other families, a mom from one family and a teenage girl from another family, have accepted Christ so far!
Thank you for the privelege of leading this outreach — it was quite a bit more time consuming (and at times frustrating!) than I thought it would be, but God was glorified and lives were changed!! All praise and glory to Him.