Care Center: Community Day 2016
BY MARCUS CASTEEL, ASSOCIATE PASTOR OF CARE CENTER
Four years ago only God knew the impact the Care Center would have on this community. Both our volunteers and our friends have open their hearts and by doing so, lives have been changed! God gave us a glimpse of that impact last Saturday at the 2016 Care Center Community Fair. It was an amazing morning filled with smiles, lots of hugs and even happy tears. Our friends started to line up at 7:30 a.m. and over 1,500 showed up that morning. They stood in line for hours and the heat was miserable, but not one single person seemed upset, tired or exhausted as they approached us. Instead, they were very grateful and happy to spend the morning with us.
The line of Care Center friends. We were amazed at how many God brought to Grace that day!
Our volunteers showed up in full-force as well! Many of them have been serving here from the opening of the Care Center, and they serve every week. We were also blessed with brand new volunteers, which we always love (so feel free to join us anytime!). Over 200 volunteers gave up their morning to love others and be the hands and feet of Jesus to our friends, and we are eternally grateful.
Our faithful volunteers <3
We had a variety of stations for the families. You could see kids walking proudly in their new shoes after participating in a foot-washing ceremony. Some not only rode a bike for the first time, but when they found out it was theirs to keep they couldn’t contain the excitement. After that morning, I will no longer take books for granted. Seeing kids walk away from the book mobile with a few new treasures was priceless. An extra bonus was that they could also shop in the Choice Pantry, which gave them the opportunity to stock up on a few things. Our friends also received free haircuts and family portraits. Those two things send huge messages to our friends letting them know they matter and they are loved. Many of you helped with the Back to School Blast from purchasing the backpacks to filling them. On behalf of all the families who received the 400 backpacks, thank you! You will never know the impact you have had on a child as they are now prepared for school.
This volunteer was able to wash the feet of our friends and help provide them with a brand new pair of shoes!
This is now an annual event, so if you would like to join us next year please do. Better yet, we get amazing opportunities like this every week in the Care Center as we serve close to 500 families each week. We need over 300 volunteers to help us each week, so jump on board! I promise God will change your life forever if you are open to it. You can sign up at gracechurch.us/carecenter.
View the entire gallery of pictures.
One of our friends receiving a stylish new do.
One of our volunteers shopping with a Care Center friend in the food pantry.
These friends are picking out their very own books to keep.
One friend receiving a new bike!
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Grace Care Center is like a social science lab for me. Except that the Holy Spirit is visibly at work here. He is transforming lives of volunteers, GCC friends and resource service providers. I enjoy meeting with 1st time friends, listening to their unique stories, inviting them to Grace, encouraging them to become more deeply engaged or just asking them to return weekly. Each person is God's creation. At times I feel as though God is looking at me through the eyes of the GCC friend, and saying "Chuck, this is your opportunity to be my hands and feet. I need you to grab this opportunity. You know what to do. How are you going to respond?"
Posted by Chuck Gross on July 30, 2016 @ 7:23 pm
This just fills my heart!
Posted by Brooke on July 30, 2016 @ 8:37 am