With all of the preparation that comes with decorating the house for Christmas, purchasing gifts and preparing food, it is easy to lose sight of what this season is truly about. To me, Christmas is about the blessings we have received throughout the year and sharing those blessings with others.
It is also about the hope of a new year. This Christmas, I want to highlight a local organization that is doing wonderful things to help those in need. Hope Central is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote family education and health by offering a safe and stable place for the people of our community.
Hope Central has four divisions that meet all the basic needs of their clients: a food pantry, family resource center, diaper bank and clothing bank. Because it is Christmas, I want to give you a brief overview of each of these divisions as well as their current needs.
From August-October of this year, the Manna Market Food Pantry has assisted an average of 500 families and 1,900 individuals. Monday through Saturday, Hope Central picks up food at the local Wal-Mart to meet the physical needs of Boonville residents. Currently, they are seeking items such as pasta, cereal, paper towels, eggs, canned fruit, toilet paper and toothpaste.
While food is a short-term fix, they also provide for the long-term by offering free Life Development Classes through the family resource center. These classes are offered on a different subject each month and include things such as cooking, budgeting and fitness. They also offer pregnancy education, free prenatal vitamins and have teamed with Cribs for Kids so that no infant in Boonville must go without a safe place to sleep. Free Safe Sleep Kits are available to any family in need and include a pack-n-play, crib, sheet, sleep sack and pacifier.
Last but not least, the Grace Garments Clothing Bank offers a variety of free dress and casual clothing in all sizes. They are open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The clothing bank is currently in need of items such as maternity clothing, large size men’s clothing, plus size women’s clothing as well as infant and kids clothing.
As you can see, not only does Hope Central provide for the current needs to local families but they also go one step further by teaching the life skills necessary to lift individuals out of poverty. It is an all-encompassing operation which deals with the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of our community, and it is truly a blessing to have them in Boonville. If you are interested in learning more about giving back to Hope Central and would like to see a complete list of their needs, or are in need of assistance yourself, please visit www.encounteringhopeministries.com/Home_Page.php.
Helping a local organization is just one of the many ways to give back. Many people have their own creative ways of helping others during the Christmas season. I have often heard of people paying for the meal of the person behind them in the drive-thru or covering the toll for the car behind them on the toll road.
One way that I choose to give back is with my time. Because my family is in the healthcare business, we are always on call. Each year, my daughter and I remain on call on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so that the other employees can be with their families and not have to worry about being called away. I feel that this is the least I can do to thank them for all of the hard work they do throughout the year.
I hope this Christmas also finds you spending time with those you love, and I wish you a Christmas and New Year filled with love, laughter and good health!