My husband and I are members of our church’s Couples’ Ministry that meets periodically throughout the year. At one of our meetings we decided that we, as a group, wanted to target an organization to help meet particular needs. In March, at our annual Missions Conference, we invited several Christian organizations to set up booths to offer information about their particular ministry. One of the exhibitors was the Atlanta Union Mission located in Atlanta, Georgia. After reading their literature, we decided to contact the organization for more information. We called and introduced ourselves as a member of the Couples’ Ministry of our church and explained that we wanted to be of service to a local ministry. The Atlanta Union Mission (AUM) has several ministries under their umbrella and the organization reaches out to men, women and children. We were told the Men’s Ministry Program of the Atlanta Union Mission is always in need of many items to help make the lives of their homeless men more tolerable and manageable. After the telephone conversation, we had a clear picture of what was needed and how the men being cared for by the Atlanta Union Mission could be helped.
We presented the ideas discussed in the telephone conversation to the husband-wife leaders of the Couples’ Ministry. It was agreed that our group would move forward with meeting the needs as presented by one of the directors of the Men’s Ministry at the Atlanta Union Mission. A letter was drafted and distributed to the couples of our church. There was no pressure to participate and it was clearly stated in the letter that participation was voluntary. We were given a “needs list” from the men’s ministry director at the Atlanta Union Mission that outlined the particular items that were much needed by the men. Items such as shaving cream, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, washcloths, towels and other hygiene articles were listed. Our members were given a deadline to submit their contributions and were asked to pack the purchased items in a shoebox or other such container so they could be neatly presented to the Atlanta Union Mission on a date to be specified. The Mission was so pleased and enthused about receiving assistance from our Couples’ Ministry that they invited us to come for a guided tour of the facility to familiarize us with the total scope of operation of the Atlanta Union Mission and to see that our gifts would be used for the purposes for which they would be given.
The response to the project was overwhelming. Even some members who were not involved in the Couples’ Ministry gave unselfishly. Several pairs of well known brand name sneakers and jeans were given and will certainly be used by the men at the Atlanta Mission. Toiletry articles, towels, washcloths and new or nearly new clothing were donated in abundance. The leaders’ hearts were very much encouraged by the participation and generosity of our Couples’ Ministry members. My husband and I were delighted to be a part of the ministry outreach and felt gratified that we were able to participate. With everyone giving, little became much. We all felt that what we received extended far beyond what we gave to this project. We look forward to delivering the articles to the Atlanta Union Mission and to going on the guided tour to learn more about their facility.
Giving is not just for the holidays. While we do not minimize the call to give during the holidays, homelessness and hunger know no holidays. We probably all know of individuals who need assistance throughout the year. Our Couples’ Ministry recognized that we wanted to make an impact on lives throughout the year, not just during special holiday periods. I believe that this outreach may well lead to a lasting association with the Atlanta Union Mission in the future. With this project and future projects, we will meet our desire to bless and impact lives for Christ and to effectively reach out to meet needs in our community. I would encourage church ministries, clubs, associations and individuals to consider an outreach project in their community. For our Couples’ Ministry, a ten minute phone call led to action that will make a dramatic difference to clients receiving services from the Atlanta Union Mission.