2017 was filled with much activity as we continue to reach out to the poor and homeless in downtown Kitchener.
This year we had our very own shirts made so that we would be more visible to the people downtown. Wearing the shirts has been a great way to start a conversation with people we connect with on the street. We have also created a Facebook page for people to keep connected to us and to be part of what we are doing. Along with the Facebook page we have created a business card to give to people.
We held three main events downtown in the summer on Speakers Corner which were well received. The first event was a clothing giveaway. Much of the clothing was donated by people from River of Life with a few items given to us by friends and by Eleanor from the workshop.
The second event was an art event where people were welcome to paint, draw, colour and sketch. At this event we had many people who stopped to sketch and paint. Some even sat with us the whole afternoon. There are some very talented people out there.
Our last event was an event where people could come and be pampered. They could have their nails done, receive a hand massage, or have a henna done. We also gave some clothes away at this event.
At each event we gave out water and snacks. We also gave each person a list of resources they could plug into if needed. Each person also received a Hope Gideon magazine and a Gospel of John with the words in gold written on the white cover reminding them they are loved.
At each one of the events we had some great conversations with people. Many wanted to know why we were doing this which opened the door to share with them that it was because Jesus loved them and gave us opportunity to pray for them.
For Christmas, we filled 30 bags with clothing, blankets, hats, mittens, scarves, snacks, toiletries and a magazine from the Gideon’s. Each one also contained a handmade Christmas card and Tim Horton’s card. We were overwhelmed with the amount of donations we received to fill the bags. It was such a blessing as we were filling them to be able to give in this way to the people downtown.
We continue to reach out to the people every second Saturday afternoon, and have built some important connections.
I want to thank everyone on the team for your continued love and support and faithfulness to serve our friends downtown. You are a blessing to them and to me.