Two Congregations Rally in Support of Shelter Residents
A plastic file box can go a long way toward making someone feel comfortable in a new place. This is the goal behind the Welcome Box Project at Stanwood United Methodist Church. Families often come to the shelter with very little, and although there isn’t much storage space, some basic items can make the transition easier.
Since 2012, the Missions Committee has gathered donations from the congregation, then assembled a box for every family who moves into the shelter. A thermometer lets parents triage their sick children in the middle of the night. Envelopes, postage stamps and a calendar help residents pay bills and take care of other business. A flash drive and a file box helps them stay organized as they look for housing. Now in its third year, this project has made a big difference in the lives of shelter residents. We often hear how these items make life easier in a difficult situation.
The members of Stanwood United Methodist Church began the project because their faith calls them to serve the poor. “What better way to serve the poor,” says Chuck Durland, Mission Committee chair. “We get satisfaction out of helping families get their lives together.”
Stanwood UMC also provides Best Wishes Boxes, which give residents some necessities when they leave the shelter for permanent housing. A set of towels, hygiene supplies and a medical kit are among the items.
Unity Center for Positive Living: Resident Pantry
The Welcome Boxes project has been so well received that we decided to expand upon it and create a Resident Pantry, stocked with cooking supplies, sheets, shower curtains and other items that families leaving the shelter need in order to set up their new homes.
A big thank you to the congregation of Unity Center for Positive Living for a hugely successful supply drive that generated enough items to stock the closet for the first round of residents.