This morning I rounded up some teenagers. We unboxed the sleeping bags and added a large print New Testament with a contact information card tucked inside to each bag. The card has some Bible learning websites as well as our ecclesial website and address printed on it.
We delivered the sleeping bags today to three different places. The first place is Ground Works in Brattleboro Vermont, a 30 bed shelter that is open 24/7. Due to the Pandemic, many shelters in Vermont have closed. Ground Works is operating out of the Quality Inn and they are full to capacity. Initially they had people in need from other states staying there but now they serve Vermonters exclusively. You can see a picture of Jake, the young man that helped us load up a luggage cart with ten sleeping bags. He was very appreciative and said they would be needed. https://groundworksvt.org/about/
After this we dropped in to Our Place in Bellows Falls, Vermont where they were also very pleased to have five sleeping bags to distribute. Our Place is a drop in center, Food Pantry and community meal site that offers social service resources. https://ourplacevt.wordpress.com/about/
Finally we stopped in to Turning Point Recovery Center in our home town of Springfield, Vermont. They operate a drop in center where they help people with transitional housing, peer recovery coaching, and also run addiction recovery groups such as AA and NA. They happily received five sleeping bags. We also offered for them to contact us whenever they need help packaging up food for drop off to local families. My friend Astrid who works there two days a week asked me what church I go to and commented the she and her husband were looking for a local church to attend. Doing good works in the name of Jesus is good for public relations! https://www.spfldtp.org/what-we-do
As a result of our outreach work, at least one family in our ecclesia is including in their homeschool curriculum a study of the needs and struggles of the homeless in our community.