Freely Received, Freely Given: Boxes of Love at Homes of Hope
As we prepare to sit down at our Thanksgiving meals, may we consider the many in our city who struggle to make it at this time of year. To address the issue of hunger and poverty this holiday season, we had the opportunity to participate in something new. Partnering with Greenville Connect‘s ‘Boxes of Love’ ministry, Homes of Hope had the special privilege to be a Distribution point for holiday food boxes for those in need. Knowing our tenants could use a little extra help this year, we hand delivered 200 flyers to our residents, their neighbors, and others in the communities where we have invested through builiding affordable housing. When November 19th, the day of our distribution occurred, those with a flyer had the opportunity to return to our corporate office for a free 15 pound box of food, complete with frozen turkeys & all the fixin’s for a great Thankgiving meal.
Providing the food for the boxes were our other ministry partners: Eastern First, Grace Church, & CrossRoads Community Church. Greenville Connect does a great job pairing those with the resources to give with those who have the potential to reach out to those in need because of their relationship with at-risk populations or their proximity to those in need. As a result you see Kingdom-minded people funding Kingdom work– very cool!
Boxes of Love is designed to be more than a hand-out. Along with food, our recipients were offered opportunity for prayer and to provide their feedback in a short survey of community needs. We were thrilled to see almost everyone who passed through our doors join in prayer with a caring volunteer. Other highlights included the participation of several Homes of Hope tenants and our interns overcoming drug and alcohol addictions serving as cheerful helpers and volunteers for this event. To consider that several of our interns who served so selflessly this day are the same men who only a short time ago were at one time homeless, in bondage to addiction, and in need of the charity of others, is just another testament to how God is a redeemer of broken things!
From start to finish, Boxes of Love was a fantastic event. Volunteers galore, smiles upon smiles, and tender moments of blessing and prayer made this a special day at Homes of Hope. After providing approximately 230 families with boxes of food, we prepared to shut our doors. Suddenly, one last woman appeared inquiring if there were any boxes left. With regret, an HOH staff member told the woman that we had given away all of our boxes. The countenance of the women fell immediately as she heard the unfortunate news. Without a second’s pause, a special moment occurred. Homes of Hope’s intern Bruce, a quiet and reserved man in our program, piped up. “We aren’t out of boxes,” he said. Without hesitation he offered her his very own box. With palpable joy, the woman hugged our staff. “You must have known I didn’t have any food,” she exclaimed. The lone woman went away encouraged and blessed.
Even now, our staff consider the weight of that moment. Freely had Bruce received a blessing, and freely did he give it away. Isn’t that the charge of Jesus to all of us? God is working at Homes of Hope and He is working in this city. How has he touched your life this year and how can you share His life with others? Blessings to you this Holiday season!
View the rest of the pictures from this special day on our Facebook page here!
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