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KALDREAM. OR G
DE CE MBE R , 2013 INS ID E THIS ISSUE 1 An Answer to Prayer 2 Warmth That Cures the Chill 3 Food Matters 3 Church Worldwide Service Helping Out at Home 4 Giving and Volunteering Opportunities
Merry Chistmas from The Dream Center Acts 20:35 “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
An answer to prayer Roughly a year and a half ago, the Dream Center was blessed to be able to offer its clientele fresh food, and much of it required some type of refrigeration. The temporary storage of this food, immediately prior to, and during the distribution, was accomplished through the use of Styrofoam coolers. While the coolers served the initial need, the amount of food for which refrigeration was necessary, began to grow, and currently, the Dream Center gives out between 1200 and 1500 pounds of food each week. In order to better serve the clients, some other means of refrigeration was becoming necessary. Many prayers were offered to the Lord for provision of much needed equipment to handle the abundance of food that was being donated. If ever there was a perfect example of the phrase “ask and ye shall receive,” this story truly embodies it. The Rota-Kiwan (Boy) Scout Reservation happened to be upgrading some refrigeration equipment, and since their original items had been donated to them with the stipulation that they never be sold, the Dream Center was contacted with an offer of six commercial refrigerators and one freezer unit that had been used at their facility. All of this equipment was brought to the Dream Center in mid- September and has been in use ever since! As if this wasn’t enough, Rota-Kiwan also donated between 300-400 pounds of non-perishable food items that were left from summer camps! Now that the camp is familiar with the Dream Center and what it provides for the Kalamazoo community, it even seems that the Boy Scouts may be interested in further food donations as camps finish up each season.
If ever there was a perfect example of the phrase “ask and ye shall receive,” this story truly embodies it.
ANNU AL CO AT DRIVE
Warmth that cures the chill Nothing says you care for people more than providing warmth from the chilly onset of a Michigan winter. That’s why so many have joined us to supply warm winter coats, gloves scarves and hats to the needy in greater Kalamazoo. Many individuals, churches and businesses joined us in the effort to see that we were able to distribute more warm covering than ever and to ensure that those who are in our city are not forgotten when the harsh winter hits. The morning of December 13, men women and children began to stream through the doors of the center to find quality outerwear to put on as they re-entered the cold elements. As people came in there were numerous caring individuals waiting, ready to fit them up with a coat and accessories. Some entered the center with a borrowed coat, a thin jacket or no coat at all. The best news of all, is that no one who came in with a need left without adequate winter covering or the promise of a coat in the days to follow. By the end of the outreach, 384 coats went out to needy individuals, and in many cases, entire families. A large amount of heavyweight blankets sent to us from Church World Service were also distributed to those who stated the need for extra warmth, especially those who were homeless. What a great privilege it is to provide in a practical way to and share Christ’s love to the hurting. We send a special thanks to Jake Elzinga, Pathfinder Church, The Children’s Store, Kohl’s, and our numerous volunteers for a successful outreach. It is through help like yours that we are able to fulfill our mission to clothe and feed the hungry according to Matthew 25: 35-37.
The needy in Kalamazoo are not forgotten when the harsh winter hits.
Dream Center volunteers assisting at the coat drive
SERVING MORE AND MORE
Food matters This has been an extraordinary year in many ways. The increase in visitors at the center has given our volunteer staff numerous opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ to a hurting segment of the Kalamazoo community. We have found ourselves in an extremely privileged position, filling needs, cheering on the downtrodden, listening to people’s stories, and encouraging the hurting. We never know when we could be entertaining an overwhelmed mom, the terminally ill or a wayward son or daughter, ready to make a significant turnaround as we befriend, talk or pray with them.
One of the elements that caused increased visits is fresh food. With as much as 25% increase in requests for fruits, meats, dairy, and other produce, it goes without saying that we have added to our opportunity to interact with those challenged. Last month alone we experienced the highest number of people served at 2,871. That’s an increase of over 1,100 from the month before. The added numbers were mostly due to families in need of food help. Fortunately, the additional refrigeration we’ve been able add this year has put us in a position to yes to our fresh food partners, which has created a win – win situation. Please continue to pray that we will be able to offer the highest representation of Christ to those we serve and that opportunities will lead to a heavenly gain.
BLANKETS WARMLY RECEIVED
Church World Service helping out at home Since its inception in 1946, the mission of the Church World Service organization (CWS) has been to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, and shelter the homeless. Many of you may know of CWS for the disaster relief that it provides across the globe, but did you know that, for almost 70 years, CWS has also worked in partnership with local communities to identify their needs and access the resources that they need? It was because of this service that Dream Center Director, Rik Stone, contacted this organization about a year ago to request a shipment of blankets to be given out during the coat drive that the Dream Center was planning to hold in December. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy struck right after the Dream Center order was placed, so the blankets were put to good use in other parts of the world for those who were in dire need of them. Again this year, Rik contacted CWS, and after reviewing the order from the previous year, it was determined that the blankets would be shipped to the Dream Center. Very recently, two skids of materials were received by the Dream Center, containing, not only the requested blankets (105 baby blankets – many of them handmade, 180 heavyweight blankets, and 60 lightweight CWS has recently supplied Kalamazoo Dream blankets), but also Center with 345 quality blankets as well as 300 hygiene kits 300 hygiene kits (containing such essential items as toothbrushes, soaps, hand towels, washcloths, nail clippers, combs and Band-Aids). The Dream Center is very thankful for this roughly $5,000 worth of materials that will be put to great use here in the Kalamazoo community!
SERVING AND GIVING OPPORTUNITIES
The Dream Center Giving Opportunities Peanut Butter and Tuna (pantry) Men’s clothing of all types Winter boots of all types
Volunteer Opportunities We are able to serve increasing numbers of hurting people due to the doations of fresh food we now enjoy. Praise the Lord!
Afternoon Receptionist – Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 1:00 - 4:00 Clothing Assistant – Helping clients shop for clothing Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 - 12:00 and 1:00 - 4:00 Clothing Associate – Sorting clothing Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 - 12:00 and 1:00 - 4:00 Life Skills Class Instructors –Teaching practical skills to our clients Thursday evenings Life Skills Class Coaches – Coaching individuals enrolled in classes Thursday evenings
Dream Designs SIMPL E WAYS T O SU P PO R T
(A thrift store, owned by Dream Center, which serves to keep the center operating)
Sign up at www.meijer.com/rewards Our new number is 131257.
Tax Deductible Donations All financial donations to the Kalamazoo Dream Center are tax-deductible.
Furniture of all types – Beds, dressers, dinette sets, etc. Knick knacks, pictures, mirrors, etc.
GET INVOLVED Volunteer
Volunteer Associates – Needed to allow the store to operate additional days of the week. Monday’s and Wednesday’s 10:00 - 5:00 *To respond to any of the listed opportunities please call 269.267.6445
< Please cut and mail to: Kalamazoo Dream Center 1122 Portage St. Kalamazoo, MI 49001 Phone
269.382.4760 www.kaldream.org Email
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All donations are tax deductible