I didn’t realize this was such a problem in Tennessee until last week I discovered the individuals at the Cleveland Emergency Shelter were not getting meals each night. Totally bewildered, my first thought was how can this be happening in our community? With all of our resources and wealth and especially the number of churches we have.
After a little research I found out that last month, in 31 days, there were only six days that food was dropped off at the shelter. With the assistance of Teresa Norman, Mt. Olive Ministries Women’s pastor, I called the shelter and found out there were 24 people there on a Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. with nothing to eat. Thankfully Mrs. Winners Chicken quickly prepared a meal of chicken strips and two vegetables. At 5:55 p.m. my husband delivered the food to a hungry yet thankful group of men and women.
This has really been heavy on my heart. I have talked to some friends and my pastor and come to the conclusion people just don’t know there is a need. Right here in our landscaped, historical community we have needs that are not being met. I’ve come to the realization that if people knew, they would respond. Without a doubt I believe we have some compassionate, loving people who want to be the “hands and feet of Jesus Christ” and take care of the less fortunate.
After looking up some Bible verses and facts I discovered the Bible is full of scripture commanding us to show mercy and compassion. Amazingly there are more than 2,100 verses which describe God’s love for the poor and the weak.
I made a decision to do what I can. By His grace I am going to obey the commandments and see how many others I can get to join me in making a difference right here in our hometown.
Think about it. If each town did what they could to take care of the hungry — took care of their own, so to speak — then the 1 in 6 Americans might become zero. Would’nt that be wonderful!
What if every church, business and civic group gave a monthly donation or set aside an amount to address the needs of the hungry and poor. What if each city and state took care of their hungry families? Would there be a problem in America at all?
September is Hunger Action Month and the Feeding America organization is asking all of us to take action to fight domestic hunger. The need is tremendous, but so is the impact each one of us can have.
One of my favorite Scriptures is: “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay them for their deed.” Proverbs 19:17.
I urge you to do what can. Whatever it is, you will be blessed. I think we will come to know the true meaning of, “it’s better to give than to receive.”
Whether it’s by preparing a little extra dinner one night a week and taking it to the shelter, being an advocate to raise awareness to your family and friends, or making a donation to a charitable organization ... you can do something. We all can.
As a board member of The Salvation Army, I know gifts and donations stay in our local community. Consider becoming a partner in care with them or a volunteer. Their mission is based on the Bible to do ministry motivated by the love of God and meet human needs in His name without discrimination. For more information, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or e-mail Ruthie Forgery, The Salvation Army’s Core Director at email@example.com or by phone a 339-2907.