We want to be a community that is rich in good deeds, generous, and willing to share.
That's why we have our annual BeRich giving and serving campaign!
We partner with 4 fantastic organizations serving our cities in important ways:
- The Barrie Food Bank
- The Lighthouse Soup Kitchen and Shelter
- The Busby Center
- The Orillia Salvation Army
Throughout BeRich, students in our Leadership Development Program at Connexus Church got to meet, interview and bring you more about why these partners are so important to our cities!
You have until midnight on Dec 20th to donate to these awesome organizations through the BeRich Campaign! Donate now.
What is community to you?
This month I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Sundborg, Executive Director of the Barrie Food Bank in honour of our BeRich campaign at Connexus Church. What I thought was going to be an informational meeting and my first time in the Food Bank, happened to change my outlook on community.
“It is the mission of the Barrie Food Bank to provide temporary relief to individuals and families of our community who are in need, and to serve as a resource to guide them along the road to self sufficiency,”
The Food Bank runs two programs, the morning program is run Monday and Friday mornings from 8:30am to 11:30am to pick up bread and baked goods to supplement their food assistance order. Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 1:00pm to 3:30pm is designated for those who acquire food assistance.
What really inspired me about the Food Bank was their mission to go beyond supplying temporary relief by supporting families and individuals on their way to independence. Resources are available with information to other services and agencies which gives clients the ability to develop self sufficiency skills and set them up for a stronger future. This is what makes the Food Bank a reliable and trustworthy resource to our community.
“A Community Where No One Is Hungry,”
I learned that the Food Bank relies on donations from our community and local businesses. In that moment, I realized that in order for them to serve their mission—they need my help. They need our help.
As we toured the facility I was able to see the supply that the Food Bank receives. The impact I felt was amazing. It was this beautiful yet humbling experience as I realized how much grace people have when they volunteer and donate their time, yet I still saw the need for certain supplies.
What I learned that day was Peter’s passion for fresh, healthy supplies of food. He makes it a priority to supply fresh produce to their clients which really blew me away. The Food Bank finds importance and priority in supporting their clients just as though they were grocery shopping.
Before I left the Food Bank I made it a point to learn where I could make a donation and how those in our community can help too. From observing the building, I saw a huge need in feminine hygiene products, toiletries and diapers/baby supplies. However, I took the opportunity to check out their website and found their list of most needed supplies;
- Powdered Skim Milk
- Baby Formula
- Large Size Diapers
- Can vegetables
- Drinking Boxes
- Lunch snacks
Prior to touring the Barrie Food Bank, I didn’t see the importance in the community’s contribution to the success of the Food Bank.
As we approach the holidays, I am reminded of the importance that comes from serving and just how powerful our impacts will be within our community.
So how will you give this season?
The other day I had a chance to sit down with Peter Thomas, the Program Services Coordinator at the Salvation Army in Orillia. It was an awesome experience, he had a lot to say and was a very passionate person.
He started with the history of the Salvation Army as a whole, who had started it and why. In 1882, Major Thomas Booth came from the Salvation Army headquarters in the U.S. and helped to found the movement in Canada. The people who believed in and who joined what Booth was doing were persecuted and sometimes jailed, but their movement grew and Salvation Armies started to appear. The history is fascinating and I didn't realize all the huge events in history that the Salvation Army had a hand in. This link leads to the history of the Salvation Army in Canada, it’s amazing the things they did and continue to do. http://www.salvationarmy.ca/
One of the biggest things that the food bank focuses on is something they call the Dignity Project, this is where they've decided that people who need help and who need support are not less.
They aren't less of a person in God’s eyes so they aren’t less of a person in our eyes.
The Dignity Project brings people into the food bank, it offers support and allows for them to talk and create relationships. The Salvation Army is about making relationships and creating a support system to hep people to get back onto their feet and begin to not need food banks anymore.
The Orillia Salvation Army food bank focuses on relationships.
Why does the Salvation Army and specifically the Salvation Army food bank care so much about relationships? Because they are the most important things we have, they are what influence us, what motivate us, what control us, what we value most. As much as they are trying to provide help and support, they are trying to provide salvation, hence the name.
Many people don’t see the Salvation Army as a “Christian “ organization, they are just doing good in their communities, which they are. They are doing good to provide help and in providing they are creating relationships, and then through relationships people can see and can be lead to the most important relationship there is. The one with Jesus Christ, the one that can help them more than any of us every could. But without the relationship from us they may not be able to see the relationship offered from Him. Our help on the physical level is the beginning for God to do something amazing on the spiritual level.
In the upcoming weeks as we look around and see the people that we love around us and see the relationships we have, think.
Think about the people who helped you on a physical level, comforted you, supported you, loved you, worked on that relationship to be able to share the relationship of Jesus with you. Can you do that for someone else?
Throughout the rest of BeRich we will have the opportunity to support the Salvation Army food bank as well as some other organizations in our area, everything that we do helps them to create a place for these relationships to begin.
You have until midnight on Dec 20th to donate to these incredible organizations through the BeRich Campaign! Donate now.