Friday, June 26, 2020

Thank you for these notes

It’s tough right now. People are coming to CCSC for food and help in finding a job, and their lives are upended. There is much suffering and human need. 

Yet there is also much goodness in the community. The CCSC staff and volunteers are serving sacrificially, fueled by the generous donors who are helping us to feed families, keep them in their homes, and coach them through a job search. Many donors are writing kind, personal notes on their checks or on-line giving forms. It’s often a please help someone who is hungry, or thank you for staying open to help people or a simple thank you. 

There are a few notes that have stood out:

I received a stimulus check from the federal government under the CARES Act, but I’m not the person these funds were intended to benefit. Please use this money to provide food or rental assistance for people who have suffered economically as result of the coronavirus.

Then there is this one from a former client: Thank you for your community outreach and support. Your wonderful community helped us after the flood. We are grateful.

And finally this one: With all the upset due to COVID-19, there is much to be grateful for as we have been well. We seniors mostly stay home, away from crowds, and wear masks and gloves if we have to go out. We are greatly blessed and our immediate needs have been met. So when we received our stimulus check, we both agreed we did not need it….When we see on TV all the people standing in line for food and other assistance, we cannot forget how much CCSC is doing throughout our own community in the Houston area. You are much closer to those in desperate need, especially at the food pantries. We know you will put our small contribution to work blessing others. We pray that all employees and volunteers at CCSC will stay well. We also pray for early success with vaccines and treatment that might put an end to the number of people in desperate need. May God bless you with His presence.

This blog is a thank you for however you are supporting CCSC, whether it is by time, prayer or gifts. Thanks especially to those who send us notes filled with love. We’re sending that love right back to you.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Mother Teresa was right

One of my favorite quotes is from Mother Teresa, and it is: We can do no great things, only small things with great love.

We at CCSC are living that quote right now. The suffering in our community is hard and deep, and we can’t do the great things needed to quickly alleviate it. But we can do our part by fulfilling our mission, and this is where you are helping us to live this quote well.

We are feeding triple the number of people we normally help, with no sign of this slowing down. People who never envisioned themselves without wages are finding us.

We cannot purchase large quantities of food, so we depend upon the people in our churches and community to shop for us when they shop for themselves. And it’s working because many individuals are dropping off donated food at our church food drives and food pantry locations. The cumulative effect of all this individual goodness translates into a significant number of families receiving food.

A friend suggested I make a list of things people could do (other than donating to us) that could help, so here goes:
  •     Do you have a housekeeper who is no longer cleaning your home during this time? If so, please consider paying her as if she is coming to your house. Consider it paid time off, a standard benefit employers offer. By doing this, you may be alleviating hunger for someone close to you.
  •     Ditto if you’ve put off having your lawn done. Your lawn guy (or girl!) may be feeding a family. A former neighbor’s long-time lawn guy, who did not have a high school degree, put both his children through the University of Houston from his lawn service.
  •     If you don’t live near CCSC, donate food to your local food pantry. Most food pantries across the country are unable to purchase at the volume they need.
  •     Be patient with the people around you, whether it’s the grouchy person in line ahead of you at the grocery store or whether it’s someone you live with. We all need a little grace right now.
  •     Seek out spiritual nourishment for yourself. Life is always uncertain, but we amble along its surface and typically only face the randomness of it when we have to. Don’t let a crisis go to waste: let it deepen your Christian faith.

Regarding the latter, if you don’t have a church home, let me recommend the 39 churches part of CCSC. If you click here, they will pop up: Some are traditional, some progressive, some are high-church, and some are low-church. They vary in size and theology, but they are committed to CCSC’s work which means they are outwardly focused. Right now, you can check a church out by watching a live sermon on-line, join a remote bible study, or reach out for a personal prayer.

Finally, if you’re reading this, then you’re in the CCSC world. Thank you for that. We could not carry out our mission without you. You can do no great things, only small things with great love.

Michelle Shonbeck
Executive Director