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Winter '10 Newsletter What would you do with 3500 kilograms of pasta? That is just one question I have had to answer in the past few weeks. Although many folks would identify our nightly meal as the Ark's main activity, there is so much more. Teens for Jeans has sent dozens of jeans for distribution to homeless youth. Our clothing outlet, renamed Arkware has been very busy. People generously give new and used clothes (and more) which we either give away or 'sell' for a token donation. Recently, Kim, our volunteer clothing coordinator went to church and came home with 34 big bags of terrific clothes from 2 families who had the sad task of clearing out a deceased loved one's possessions. She is still working through those, but meanwhile, more is constantly arriving. Each week it seems she finds just the thing someone comes in asking for – like new men's size 13 running shoes. There was one very surprised and happy man that day! It seems like almost every day someone calls, asking if they can volunteer. I actually am overwhelmed with how many people desire to serve others. Of course, some are working off necessary community service hours for one reason or another, but many others come simply because they want to. We try hard to have as many as possible serve here in one way or another. Here are some comments from some who have recently helped serve a meal:

It was a fun evening, like every time. People were nice and it's a great atmosphere. I loved the communal dish-washing! I enjoyed volunteering as I was immediately given tasks to perform and made to feel that I was making a contribution. We had a great time! Good seeing the Bible read before the meal and we had a good conversation. We couldn't function without volunteers and we appreciate them all. Your particular skill or interest can probably benefit somebody at the Ark. Why not give us a call to talk about it? We also get donations of food. The day I wrote this, it was apples, mushrooms and canned goods. A few days ago, our potato supply was replenished. A while ago we worked through forty heads of cabbage. And pasta – tons of good whole-wheat penne. Wondering what we did with it? We kept what we need for the next few months and gave the rest away to other organizations who also express the heart of Jesus in caring for the poor. You can see a video of it, shot by The Free Press on our website. As we blessed others with our bounty, we have also been blessed in return from those who received the pasta – 6000 Styrofoam cups and venison, so far! Of course, there are challenges, too. We are so grateful for the response to the Christmas newsletter. Funds were very low last fall, but so many faithful people, churches and businesses have carried us into the winter. This newsletter is intended to say 'Thank You' as much as it is to convey our need. From time to time we get the request not to send a newsletter and save our money. May I say that a newsletter is about more than asking for money. It lets our friends know what is happening and how God is blessing; it conveys prayer requests; it shares our victories and yes, lets people know our needs. It is God who cares for the Ark, through his people. The cost of sending a newsletter to an individual is very small, especially compared to the benefits of keeping friends informed. Please do not feel obligated to respond more than you are able. But keep the Ark in your heart, and give what you feel you should. We certainly have many needs as we serve hundreds of meals each week and attempt to become all God wants us to be. The Ark Aid Street Mission, Inc 696 Dundas Street E., London, Ontario N5W2Z4 Tel. 519-667-0322 Fax: 226-289-3045 E-mail: arkmission@golden.net Web: www.arkaidmission.com


Ark Needs Here are some things that are on our 'shopping list:' Furnace – the one that heats the office has just broken down. We don't yet have a price estimate. Dishwasher – a commercial unit that sanitizes rather than washing everything by hand. Food – call for current needs but things like frozen or fresh vegetables, long grain rice, frozen or fresh fruit, meat. Tutors – to work with individuals in basic literary and math skills. Video projector Prayer Teams The Ark has always been about more than a meal. We know that there are many people and churches throughout the city who pray for the ministry here. Now we are working to have a team of people here each evening to pray while another team serves the meal. The prayer team could be more people from the meal-serving group, or it could be another group altogether. Individuals are always welcome to come and pray but we also would like to have prayer groups. Belong to a small group at your church? Why not come one night and pray at the Ark? Does your church want to facilitate more prayer in and for the city? Why not do it right on Dundas St.? We want the Ark to be a resource for the whole Christian community to bless our city. Get on-board! A Thousand Words

Chapelaires at Ark Benefit Concert

UWO Asian students' financial donation

Debbie preparing the daily meal

New Computer Lab

Sorting Christmas gifts

Cargill Employees Food Donation

Arkware clothing outlet

New Ways to Give For your convenience, there are more ways to financially support the Ark. Of course, cheques can always be mailed in. Donations can be made online from our website using either PayPal or CanadaHelps. Pre-authorized monthly debits from your bank account are not only convenient but provide a steady flow of operating funds. Just let us know and we will send you the form to complete. Debits will be made on the 20th of the month and continue only as long as you wish. Thinking of a yard sale this spring? Why not donate the proceeds to the work of the Ark? Or organize your friends or group to have some fun for a worthy cause. Call to let us know what you're doing or how we can help. Closing Thoughts After more than three years, the Ark is sad to say good-bye to Cathie Brighton. Cathie has served as Program Director and is loved by volunteers and clientele alike. She has been a tremendous help to me in my early days here. We send her with God's blessing to her next place of service in northern Canada. I am getting to know our many friends and supporters. If your group would like me to come and share about what is happening, I would be happy to do so. We have some new video and many exciting stories. As well, if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions or encouraging words, don't hesitate to call. We deeply appreciate your support. Doug Whitelaw Executive Director dignity

compassion

hope


Ark Aid Mission Newsletter - Winter 2010