Girl's idea takes hold
Packets show homeless people that someone cares
What started with one girl’s caring heart turned into an effort by a Salem, Ore., church to help people living on the street.
Isabella, 9, saw people in parks and on street corners, holding signs asking for food, jobs or money. Figuring there wasn’t much she could do about the situation by herself, Isabella went to her church family with an idea about “homeless kits.”
Children at Western Mennonite Church collect money for supplies in metal buckets during the worship service offering time. “It does make quite a racket but each coin dropped and heard is a vivid reminder of others in need within our communities,” noted Senior Pastor Rick Troyer.
The kids assemble the kits, and adults from the congregation hand them out as they travel around the city. Each kit contains a stocking cap, socks, cheese and crackers, tuna, snacks, health/hygiene items, a bottle of water and Living Water, a copy of the Gospel of John.
The Everence Sharing Fund matched money Western Mennonite contributed to the homeless kits effort.
The Sharing Fund helps thousands of people every year through matching grants. Last year, Everence awarded more than $918,000 so that local congregations and member chapters could help more people in need.
Sharing Fund grants are made possible by members who do business with Everence. Because of the organization’s unique tax status, money that would be paid in federal taxes is distributed instead through mutual aid – including the Sharing Fund.
The fund is one of the ways Everence and our members are doing better together.
This story comes from a recent grant application to the Everence Sharing Fund. In some cases, names have been changed out of respect for the privacy of the families.