at Ridge Church we chose to partner with a Title 1 school in our "neighborhood." our goal is to make a profound difference and to be a blessing to the teachers, staff, children, and families of the school.
we've been blessed like crazy, so we want to take those blessings and be a blessing to the people at Piney Grove Elementary School. 81% of the children live below poverty level.
one of the coolest/funnest things we do is this "unexpected Christmas store" where we specifically heap the blessings onto about 10 or so of the families at Piney Grove. crazy awesome.
maybe at some point i'll share a personal story of the family Crystal and i were able to bless and hang out with that day.
for now i'll leave you with some thoughts from my friend Spanky's blog. he's the organizer of the whole "store" anyway and after his words is a pretty cool video that i think will be worth your time!
One of the highlights for us throughout the year is an event we do for multiple needy families at Piney Grove Elementary called the Christmas Store. It is our version of blessing families with the necessities and wants during the Christmas holiday with the purpose of bringing hope into their hearts and homes. This year we were able to help some struggling families and single moms in bigger ways than we would have even planned: power bills were taken care of, a single mom's gas was turned back on so so her 4 children could take showers and have heat, cars that were not running are now working well, and eviction notices have been stopped. A pinnacle for me was when I recieved a call from a struggling single mom that attended our Christmas store. She shared how she wants to teach her children more about Jesus and what we believe because they have never known church people that cared so much like we did. She said that her children are asking questions about us and Ridge Church because, "there is something special about those people that helped us out. Why would they do this for us when we don't even go to their church?"
For Lara and I we found ourselves most proud when we heard a mom talk about how amazing all of this is and that this is just what people at Piney Grove have come to expect from us and Ridge Church. All of the time, energy, effort, planning, prayer, and sacrifice we have put into this project is starting to show some lasting fruit, and it is good fruit! Take moment to watch for yourselves what a few families said in their own words. Christmas Store 2012
Unexpected Christmas Store from Ridge Church on Vimeo.