Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Acts 20:35
Like so many people in this world, our guests and residents would rather give than receive, but when you’re experiencing poverty and homelessness it can be challenging.
One way our guests are able to give back is by participating with Operation Christmas Child. Every year, guests at our Foothills Shelter help Samaritan’s Purse-Canada by packing shoe boxes for children in need. The shoe boxes are filled with hygiene items, school supplies and toys, and sent to children in developing countries.
Recently, Operation Christmas Child visited the shelter. Our guests were given the age and gender of a child, and then they took great care in choosing appropriate items for him or her. While they filled the boxes many of them talked about their own children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. It’s was good reminder that they weren’t always alone are now getting support for a brighter future.
Every person experiencing homelessness is someone’s son or daughter, brother or sister, father or mother. And no one every hoped one day they would grow up to be homeless. At The Mustard Seed, this is always top of mind.
Mustard Seed former guest, Ken, says, “The first Christmas I was here at The Mustard Seed, there was a family who gave us sweaters and sang carols and that was nice, that made me feel pretty good.” When asked how he felt about being able to give back, he said, “I miss buying for somebody, I miss giving to somebody.”
Ken spent several months staying at our shelter; eventually we helped him find a permanent home in one of our supportive housing units.
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Dr. Martin Luther King