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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Birthday Party for Jesus

Our Birthday Party for Jesus has become a family tradition.  We started just after the birth of our first child in an effort to center our Christmas celebration around Christ.  This party has evolved from a simple gathering of friends for birthday cake and reading the story of Christmas to an community outreach service project.  We have rotated our charity every year to bring forth awareness of charities in need in our community. 
This year our charity of focus was Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries (K.A.R.M), specifically their 13 family rooms.  New Life Inn is Knoxville's only long term shelter for intact, homeless families. In this depressed economy, more families are seeking shelter than ever.  I took a tour of the facility and was touched by the need to furnish these rooms with basic supplies, such as bedding and bathroom necessites.

We started by compiling a list of the needed items, created a registry to make donating easier, and then sent out information to our friends and family.  We prayed for an outpouring of support and that is exactly what  happened! 

We started with pulling a team together to give these rooms a facelift with a fresh coat of paint. It took two full days of painting, THANKS to everyone willing to give up their time and effort, all the rooms were completed! 
I was overwhelmed as we began to receive donations. Soon, our living room became overtaken with supplies. 
We ended up with a total of:
41 Bed in a Bag sets!  They have a total of 55 twin beds, so we were just short of getting a comforter set for every bed!
34 Sets of towels (That means at least 2 sets of towels per room)
13 bath mats (one for EVERY room)
13 shower curtains (one for EVERY room)
13 wall hangings (one for EVERY room)
8 laundry baskets
4 alarm clocks
4 sheet sets
1 lamp
1 microwave
That is over $2,500 worth of donations plus the paint and painting supplies!

The microwave wasnt even on their 'needs' list.  But when someone offered it for donation, I did not turn it down.  As we were compiling the donations at KARM, the VP excitedly said, "I just had a family THIS week praying for a microwave for their room!"  What an answered prayer!
It was a blessing to be able to be a part of this project, I know the families will be blessed because of the donations and support.  More importantly, every time we get to work on this type of project,
 We go expecting to give and we always end up getting! 
We were truly filled up with the Holy Spirit.
Thank you to each person that planted the seed for this project, for your prayers, for your support, for your donations, for your time, and mostly for showing kindness and compassion to those in need!

**I was hoping to show AFTER pictures but due to the weather, we have been unable to visit the shelter to be able to show the rooms refurbished.  As soon as I am able to obtain these pictures, I will update the post.

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