The US Census Bureau shows 20.2% of Miami families below the poverty level. Many of us can relate to this statistic as loved ones and co-workers face the economy head on. The increasing need for food in South Florida is a very real issue in our community and within our walls at Christ Journey.
But here is the good news…
For the past 3 years, Christ Journey has collected over 175,00 pounds of food. That food has been sent to partners around Miami and globally. Last year, through Feed Miami, Christ Journey started its very own Feed Miami Food Pantry - which has been a service to Christ Journey and people in the community all year. Feed Miami is happening again this year and we hope you will ‘love with action’ as we collect and distribute food to Christ Journey families through Thanksgiving baskets, Christ Journey’s food pantry, locally through partners such as Open House Ministries and the Miami Rescue Missions, and globally through Food for the Poor.
Get involved by picking up reusable Feed Miami bags and a flyer in the breezeway and bringing back full bags of non-perishable foods during any weekend in November. Join us as we seek to feed the hungry not just in November, but also throughout the year! Visit feedmiami.com for more information.
Join us in the UBC Chapel this Sunday between 3 and 5 pm to audition to perform for the Feed Miami Benefit Concert! Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
The UBC food pantry has been up and running for several months & we need your help in filling some crucial gaps in our food pantry. Right now we have shortages of these items:
- Canned fruit
- Canned meat (tuna, chicken, etc…)
- Canned pasta w/meat (especially cans with pop tabs)
- Bags of rice
- Canned beans
Consider taking your family this week grocery shopping and add a few of these items. You can bring your bag to UBC on Sunday or drop it off at church anytime during the week. Thanks for helping Feed Miami!
This month we’ve been talking about the virtue of kindness, which is showing others they are valuable by how you treat them. No one can say, do or give anything to us that tops what God did for us when He sent Jesus to save us. He did this not because we deserve it, but because He loves us. That’s why everyone is important and valuable to God. He made them, and He loves them like sons and daughters; and that’s one reason Jesus wants us to treat others kindly: to show them they are valuable to God. He goes so far as to say that when we treat someone kindly, especially one less fortunate than ourselves, it’s as if we’re treating Him that way. We’ll see that in Matthew 25:35-40, our Bible lesson for this Sunday.
Have you seen people with signs that say “Hungry” or who tell you something about their family’s needs? Imagine Jesus holding that sign. Would you show Him kindness? I bet you would! We’re encouraging you to look around your community for people in need and treat them as Jesus would. There are many ways we can help, and here are some ideas to get you started:
- Participate in Feed Miami – Love the Homeless. Bring toiletries and non-perishable food items to UBC this Sunday, and next Sunday you will have the opportunity to assemble these items in Kids Care bags for the Homeless.
- Help your child choose 3 things of their own (books, games, or unneeded clothes) and take them to one of our Mission Partners (Florida Baptist Children’s Home, Miami Rescue Mission, Touching Miami with Love, Open House Ministries, Agape Family Ministries)
- Find a jar for loose change and encourage your family to fill it up, then donate the funds to a Homeless Shelter (Click here for the National Homeless Shelter Directory)
We have purchased some wonderful books that we are encouraging you to check-out and read at home as a family. For each book, we’ve prepared questions to discuss afterwards. Click here for the list of books and their descriptions. These books may be checked out from Alison Bisesi at the Family Ministry Table by the kiosks. We have also prepared resources to assist you as you discuss important issues like homelessness with your children. Just imagine the benefits of spending time focusing on the ills in our society that Christ wants to change through His people:
- By parents teaching their children about homelessness, it will help both generations become more aware, compassionate, caring people.
- By parents participating in Feed Miami – Love the Homeless, families will appropriately reach out to, rather than fear a homeless person.
- By parents teaching their children about homelessness, it helps each family member not to develop preconceptions and judgment of people.
- By teaching about homelessness and expressing acts of kindness, we help children not to be so egocentric and focused on their own “wants,” encouraging them to be focused on the “needs” of others.
- By teaching children about homelessness, they will be empowered to make a difference by “bringing God’s kingdom to earth as it is in heaven.”
I believe that within our UBC families are children who God will call out for even greater things- things like eradicating homelessness. Are you cooperating with Him and preparing them for His service? Be here this weekend, and we’ll do it together!
For the next 2 Sundays (February 13th & 20th), we will be collecting the above items for our KINDNESS PACKS. Bins will be placed next to the check-in kiosks during all 3 Sunday services. Click here for a downloadable list of items being collected.
Before you begin purchasing or collecting items for the kindness pack, make sure to check out our new Weekly Coupons & Promotions page, which includes deals from Publix, Winn Dixie, Target, and CVS on several of the items above
Kindness packs will be assembled on Sunday February 27th - stay tuned for more information on assembling, as well as regular Family Ministry email & blog updates throughout the month of February about Feed Miami: Love the Homeless.
Hopefully this week you will have received our January Family Ministry E-News, if not click here to subscribe and we will send it to you. We spent November serving Miami by collecting and distributing tons of Feed Miami bags. Since Feed Miami, UBC has established an on-going food pantry which had provided emergency food to many UBC families and individuals from the community. As we distribute food though, there is the need to collect more and for volunteers to sort and maintain the food in the pantry.
Our hope for 2011 is that Feed Miami, but more importantly living out Jesus’ call to serve and love the community, will become ingrained in the fabric of your family. Below we’ve included a list of ideas from UBC families and Family Ministry on how to make this happen. We hope that this serves only as a starting point to the great ways God will use your family in 2011!
- Our kids can identify family, friends, neighbors that would be interested in donating on a monthly basis. Once these people have been identified then a regular monthly food pick up can be scheduled. For example, my neighbor wants to be an ongoing partner in Feed Miami so on the 1st of every month the child picks up the food from that home.
- We keep a Feed Miami bag in the car as one of our shopping bags and it will serve as a reminder whenever we see a “buy one, get one” deal at Publix to pick up an extra can, etc. which we will accumulate in a bag or box and bring in monthly.
- When we did our food drive in November, we hit our last two neighborhoods and actually did not solicit in our current neighborhood. We plan to distribute bags this winter/spring and do another drive. Our goal is to do two per year on a going forward basis
- Our kids can do a specific chore in exchange for purchasing a certain number of food items to donate on a weekly basis. For example, if washing the dog is not one of their regular chores, the child can wash the dog and purchase 5 pantry items. What’s nice about this is that if the child is really motivated, he/she can do extra chores for extra pantry items.
- As a family decide to give up dessert (or some other way you spend money) once a week and use that money to fill up a Feed Miami bag and bring it to the pantry. Help your kids understand what it means to sacrifice something personal to help someone else.
- Take a break from your favorite TV show this week and instead sign-up to help sort and maintain the UBC food pantry. Email the day and time you are interested to email@example.com and your family can come help out. No volunteer is too young or too old!
Maybe you need to pick up a few extra Feed Miami bags? Do you have a great idea that is working in your family? Or is your family ready to take the next step and serve together locally or globally? Please don’t hesitate to email us at FamilyMinistry@ubcmiami.org.
Click here to download a printable version of the flyer (Please be sure to bring it so that UBC can receive credit). All the money raised will go towards providing Thanksgiving meals for families in need!
Feed Miami is more than just a food drive. It all started with four elementary aged girls & one big idea - to Feed Miami. Last Thanksgiving, migrant workers & their families in Homestead were able to enjoy complete Thanksgiving meals & continued food support through Open House Ministries, Women & children at Agape Family Ministries were provided with food, diapers, & baby formula. The Miami Rescue Mission & Food for the Poor each received over 10,000 lbs of non-perishable food to support their ongoing support to those living in poverty.
The need for food in Miami is still great. 14% of households in South Florida fall under the poverty line, leading to approximately 1,378,600 people in South Florida seeking emergency food assistance each year (Hunger in America, 2010 Report). As followers of Jesus, we are called to meet that need Sixth grader Abigail Raffalski, one of the creators of FEED MIAMI says, “Everybody has a part in life, God didn’t make you just for you. So you can either be part of the problem or part of the solution… I want to be part of the solution. I want to help others, I want to be there for people.”
get involved! www.feedmiami.com
Click the links below to hear the Radio Disney interviews from Feed Miami; featuring Max & Marina Diaz, Gabriela & Alexander Bombino, Sarah Livingston, Abigail Raffalski, and Eleanor Harley.
Here is a picture from the loading and distribution that took place today. Click here to see more…