Here to Help

A desire to help: 480 homeless kits assembled


About a month ago, a homeless couple was seen camping outside on the Creswell Presbyterian Church property. When Pastor Seth Wheeler approached the husband and wife, he noticed the woman’s feet were bare. It was 30-degree weather. She was wearing sandals. She was not wearing socks.
A tough state to see someone in, Pastor Wheeler retold the story of his encounter to his congregation that Sunday.
For one community member, that sermon stirred inspiration.
A few days later, Pastor Wheeler learned that a member of his church – who prefers to remain anonymous – was busy working on a project. The donor was halfway through the process of putting together care kits for the homeless: 480 of them.
Recognizing the enormity of the task at hand for just one person, and also the opportunity to make this a church-driven project, Pastor Wheeler asked the donor to pump the breaks on the project so that fellow presbyterians could pitch in.
And so they did.
To complete the remaining 200-some kits, they needed $1,136. Pastor Wheeler asked his church members if they could help fund the kits.
”We just asked (the congregation) that morning and had special offering” for the kit assembly, Pastor Wheeler said. ”And this is the cool part: exactly $1,200 was raised” during that offering.
The anonymous donor took the funds raised that Sunday and purchased the rest of the items needed for the kits, which included items to keep one warm, clean and a little less hungry. These items included socks; protein bars; hygiene products, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste; and feminine products.
On Jan. 27, after worship, thanks to the funds raised during the offering, an estimated 35 members assembled and completed the last of the 480 homeless kits.
It was a special project for all involved.
”The project was one of love and coming together for our beloved congregation,” Church member Sheryl Webb said. ”To work together, to do even a very small part to help folks in need in our community, was a gift to be assured. The Lord is huge and we are His hands on special occasions such as this.”
Church member Bobbie Main said she was appreciative that someone had an idea to help homeless people, and to also offer the church a chance to participate in the project.
”It was great to see people get together and work with such enthusiasm,” Main said.
Those kits were blessed during worship on Feb. 3 before they were sent out into the community.
The congregation will be distributing the kits this week to any places that will take them, Wheeler said. Some mentioned locations would include the Creswell Food Pantry, Creswell City Hall, Creswell School District and to local businesses that would like to help out.
Pastor Wheeler is also challenging his congregation to take kits with them for individual distribution.
”We’re challenging the congregation to take a few packs with them and keep them in their cars,” Pastor Wheeler said. ”So, if they meet someone in parking lot, in a store, or see someone standing on a street corner, they don’t just drive by; they can give them something.”
He said homelessness has been a topic on everyone’s minds lately, and the subject keeps gaining traction in the community. There are many more Creswell natives who are homeless, far more than you’d think, he said.
He knows these kits won’t just fix the homelessness issue, ”but it meets an immediate need,” and at least that’s something.
”I wish that someone would come up with solutions for this problem,” Main said. ”I do support organizations that try to do what they can.”
Until a solution is met, Webb said the best we can do is to ”do whatever we can to let our neighbors know they are special and loved – always.”



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