January 2021
Church of the Blessed Hope, Ohio
Painesville Township, Ohio
Recipient: Sub Zero Mission   Initiative: Bags of Love Initiative 2020

The Garden’s “Bags of Love” Winter Appeal Report

The Garden’s 20 sleeping bags, plus Blessing Bags, were donated to Sub Zero Mission, located locally: 760 North Ridge Road, Painesville Township, OH 44077 (subzeromission.org)

Sub Zero Mission helps those affected by homeless stay warm during the winter months by providing hats, coats, gloves, boots, sleeping bags, new socks, tents and other warming items. “We do this because nobody should freeze to death in America.” This group of volunteers helps find those exposed to the elements in northeast Ohio and other cities in the region then offers them warming items. The 501C3 BBB 5-Star Accredited Organization owns several vehicles to scout and make deliveries in these areas. The group also concentrates on finding veterans who make up a high percentage of homeless. They carry special laminated cards with contact information in order to get them the special help that is available to veterans.

Our church body has worked with this organization before and will continue to do so in the future.

Impact on our body of believers: Although a small service and task to undertake, getting our Sunday School children involved, especially during these COVID times, was huge!  It’s been difficult for some of the Homeschool Mothers/Teachers to engage in their typical service projects, both within our community and also with other church programs, or even with friends, due to the COVID restrictions in place.  Doable group/communal service opportunities, especially for young children, have been less available. Therefore, this opportunity made it possible for a bunch of kids to help pack over 30 homeless care packages within their own church building while gathered together on a Sunday morning.  It also allowed other older members to get involved by donating monetarily without feeling at risk for having to go out shopping or to physically be present for the “packing party.” In other words, this created an awesome cross-generational project!

Spiritual reflections: Sis. Becky Ross, who coordinated our ecclesial efforts, suggests that the Garden Initiative emphasize the importance of having its participants pray over this project and throughout the project. Whether it be as a church group or individually, setting the example to our children and fostering community through group prayer can’t be over emphasized.

Thanks so much for making this project available to us…a wonderful idea!