ODBM would like to thank some caring churches throughout the community and the Crescent City Red Cross who helped to make Christmas special for those who are financially struggling.  In a time when we often think about family and love, there are many who are alone and struggling; we see these faces come and go through our doors on a regular basis.  At ODBM, we try to create a family atmosphere where everyone feels loved and of value.  We are honored that some churches throughout the community and the Red Cross partnered with us through their support to make Christmas a special time for all by extending unconditional love in tangible ways.

We would like to thank the Women’s Ministry of Pelican Bay Evangelical Free Church for their generous and much needed practical gift of hygiene kits.  Some of ODBM’s clients are hard to shop for because they don’t have homes, in the same sense that we do, so the ladies’ choice of gift was appropriate and useful.  Many of the recipients were people who received no other gifts this year.  We were able to see smiles on the faces of those who are usually bitter and depressed around the holidays because they feel forgotten.  Thanks to the ladies of EV Free Church whose heartfelt donation lets our friends know they are not forgotten, and the love that the Body of Christ has for them extends beyond the walls of ODBM.  The Women of Pelican Bay Evangelical Free Church have been giving beautiful gifts for us to give out to our guests for a number of years now, and each always has in it the most important message of the free gift of salvation offered for its recipients.  It is caring individuals like these ladies who reach beyond the pews of the church and put their love in action.  Each year they bless our guests with the knowledge that someone cares for them with gifts of Love.

Fort Dick Bible Church felt led to buy presents for children of all ages.  They wrapped them and added fun tracks, so the children would all have an opportunity to recieve the greatest gift ever given…Jesus!  Even after our Celebration of Giving where we handed out around 700 presents, we found there was still a need in the community.   We learned a valuable lesson, one night is simply not enough to meet the growing needs of Del Norte County.  We had many calls and people stopping by asking about presents for their children, and the Fort Dick Bible Church’s donation helped to meet the needs within our community for families that fell through the cracks, and missed the opportunity for gift assistance in many of the other valuable gift giving programs in our community.  On December 23rd, we handed out the pre-wrapped gifts for children, and hygiene kits and handmade blankets for adults.   Fort Dick’s Bible Church’s gifts made sure no child missed out on Christmas.  As we handed out the gifts, we could sense the Love that was behind each carefully prepared gift, and we know the people who received them felt that love too.

As is the case each year, putting on these extra events costs more than our usual budget allows; although we plan, we run entirely on donations, so it is hard to set money aside for special events.  That is where the Women of the United Methodist Church of Crescent City‘s generous gift came into good use.  The ladies gathered together a gift of $500 which helped us pay for heating our building, cooking costs, food and additional supplies.   Warming the building is very expensive, but in such a cold season, it is often the only warmth many of our guests receive and is well worth the cost.  Often, we are unable to heat the building due to the high cost of fuel.  Meeting the essential bills is usually a burden for us, but this donation gave us energy to focus on the people which is where are hearts are.  This gift not only helped with the running costs of the ministry, but gave us peace of mind!  We realize giving a financial donation takes faith that the money will be used appropriately.  We are a small ministry, but we work very hard at making the most out of each dollar given (Fishes and Loaves).   These ladies have faithfully entrusted us with a generous donation for many years which has enabled us to continue to meet the growing needs of the less fortunate in our community.

Our leap of faith this year in having two Christmas events placed a heavy strain on our food pantry and freezers.  Despite the donations mentioned above, giving during the holidays has been slim compared to the previous years.  The American Red Cross of Crescent City gave us a call in the nick of time!  Dave had called Mike and said they would like to restock our pantries!  We gave them a list, and they purchased $600 worth of much needed food items.  This enabled us to continue to make hot, nutritious, quality food for our guests, many of which have health issues; they depend on a hot, nutritious meal made with love; we have the love, but we were in desperate need of the food! This donation was much needed and timely.  The Red Cross’s donation enables us to continue to help those who are struggling to have something many of us take for granted…a nutritious, quality, hot meal.

We believe that it takes a community to work together to make a difference, and we would not be able to do the work we are called to without the help of caring individuals of the above mentioned supporters.  Thank you.  All of these giving individuals’ efforts helped to make Christmas meaningful for the less fortunate of our community.  Together we can reach people and touch lives.

In His Service,

Daphne

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