This week I stood outside for 3 hours with my NCompass friends collecting other people’s stuff for their 4th Annual Christmas Festival for the Homeless. We sponsored a donation drive asking for warm clothes, toiletries, socks and underwear, and sleeping bags.
The Festival preparations are starting to take shape. We expect 1000 homeless neighbors to show up under the Hawthorne and Morrison Bridges on December 16th and we pray we have something to give all that come.
A full holiday meal will be served, largely because of a generous donation by Reser’s Fine Foods. We hope the turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce can make someone’s day a little brighter.
We still need help. Do you have a group that can serve?
Maybe you can put up a tree like this one in your school or workplace:
Each tag has an item needed for the Festival. The more trees set up, the warmer those living on the street will be.
Perhaps your group would like to initiate a sleeping bag drive. Can you imagine the gift of a sleeping bag to every person who needs one?
Do you have a medical background? We are looking for health personnel to perform routing exams for those who can’t get to a doctor when needed.
How about a facility with a water source downtown? We have hairdressers willing to give new dos, but we need sinks for shampooing and general clean-up.
Maybe you live far from Portland and can’t contribute donations or services. We welcome your prayer.
While the majority of us will spend the holiday season in front of a fireplace sipping hot cocoa and eating cookies until we roll out the door, there are many who would settle for a warm steam vent on the street. If just one person can walk away knowing he or she is cared for this Christmas season, we have started to accomplish what Jesus asks of us.