Thank you to the Healthy Child Coalition for a grant of $1500 to be used toward our PreSchool Nutrition Program. The grant will allow us to continue the program until June, 2016.
Please see attached poster for the Get Better Together (GBT) program being held in Steinbach at Fernwood Place every Tuesday morning from 9:30 to 12:00 noon starting March 8th for 6 weeks.
GBT is a program to help you take control of your health and manage pain, deal with fatigue and frustration, increase your energy levels, and problem solve to make better health decisions. This is a free program to help people live better with ongoing health conditions.
The Steinbach Mennonite Church Jr Youth participants spent an evening making 170 pizzas for SCO to hand out. About 30 eager youth boys and girls formed an assembly line, and managed to shred cheese, assemble, package and label the pizzas in one hour! Recipients of the pizzas will enjoy a slightly different menu than the usual casseroles in the next few weeks. Thank you so much to all those that helped out.
On Friday afternoon, Niverville Collegiate Institute hosted a charity basketball game that had their very own varsity boys play against Lorette. They made approximately $450 for Steinbach Outreach to help the homeless. Congrats to Federico, Markus and Levi for all the work you did to make this happen. The event came about as a result of an assignment given by the Global Issues teacher. Students were asked to plan a Charity fundraising event, and the three boys decided to plan the event for SCO. Thank you boys!
- by Myra Gerbrandt
Love, Joy, Hope, Peace.
I suspect that these advent themes must seem like a far away dream for many of our Outreach guests whose lives often consist of disappointments, hardships, difficult relationships, and chaotic circumstances.
But for this one evening at least, the season brought a glimpse of each of these themes reflected in their faces as our guests gathered for a Christmas party...
It happens all the time.
We get all inspired by a moving story of change, or zealous about an injustice, and we leap into action.
We dive in, determined to make a difference.
To affect change.
And it’s one of the biggest mistakes we can make.
In the context of working with people in dire circumstances, a well-intentioned volunteer, out of compassion, may want to rescue people from their lifestyle of abuse, homelessness, or poverty.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
It’s the subsequent jolt to reality that causes us to then wrestle with disillusionment.
The novelty fades into routine and we wonder if we're doing it wrong.
Because we soon realize, down there in the trenches, that the issues and problems people deal with are not only much more difficult and complex than we first thought, but also… we discover that change takes time.
Lots of time.
The more brokenness in a situation, the more time it seems change takes.
Soon the zeal for change and anticipation of big, obvious results fades into frustration.
At this point, we are put to decision. Will we leave with dashed hopes, or adjust course?
Want to change the world?
At the risk of sounding cliche, ... it literally starts with you.
Wherever you choose to serve and give of yourself with the hope of affecting change, consider adjusting your expectations.
Change is a fine goal, but to change others is not the starting place.
We must first aim - or at least be open - to change ourselves.
If you’ve ever heard reports from people returned from a short-term mission trip, you’ll have heard of how they went to serve, and were themselves blessed, served, or somehow changed.
This is what we must be open to – that our perceptions, assumptions, and even our character and behaviour- would first be changed.
In his book Developing the Leader Within You, Max Lucado writes,
“A middle eastern mystic said, “I was a revolutionary when I was young and all my prayer to God was: “Lord, give me the energy to change the world.”
As I approached middle age and realized that my life was half gone without my changing a single soul, I changed my prayer to: “Lord, give me the grace to change all those who come into contact with me, just my family and friends, and I shall be satisfied.”
Now that I am an old man and my days are numbered, I have begun to see how foolish I have been. My one prayer now is: “Lord, give me the grace to change myself.” If I had prayed for this right from the start, I would not have wasted my life.”
While it’s not necessarily a waste to have a misguided perspective, it does limit one’s effectiveness and certainly personal growth.
Want to change the world?
Howard Hendricks (Teaching to Change Lives) has this advice:
“The more you change, the more you become an instrument of change in the lives of others. If you want to become a change agent, you also must change.”
Want to volunteer? Contact us!
Joanne Dyck and her children Bronwyn and Ezra have spent nearly 200 hours packing healthy snacks for the Preschool Nutrition Program in the last year.
Each week they pack paper bags with a variety of items including fruit, vegetables, crackers, cheese, yogurt, and juice boxes. Our teams of caring volunteers then hand deliver the snacks to the family’s home. Each volunteer is matched with a family.
The program aims to provide healthy daily snacks for children who are not yet in school. Healthy eating is costly, and these snacks help supplement that cost.
“It’s also about educating families on healthy eating habits.” said Joanne. The program is also designed to be a connecting point for volunteers to begin building relationship with families they deliver to.
“Connecting with the families is the best part for us,” Joanne smiles. Bronwyn and Ezra are quick to recall the times they’ve enjoyed, like having their family over for lunch, or visiting their house.
“It’s been great to get to know them and see God working in their lives. We became quite attached to the family we delivered to last year. This year they don’t need the program, but we’d still love to get together with them.”
The people who receive these snack packs are really appreciative. “The father of family we delivered to last year wanted to give back so badly. He was off work due to injury, but couldn’t wait until they would be in a position to give back again.”
In the last year, the program has grown from serving two families, to delivering to five families.
And more are waiting.
Monetary donations to this program are welcome. And, if connecting with families in this way sounds like a fit for your family, feel free to contact the program coordinator to apply.
"Thank you so much!" She took the bag of toiletries gratefully. Injury had left her unable to work, and social assistance did not provide enough for food, much less toilet paper. She had no other way to pay for dish soap, shampoo, or toilet paper, the items she now clutched in her hands.
She is one of many people who don't have enough money to pay for everyday hygiene items others take for granted. Have you ever lived a week without shampoo or dish soap? Or without toilet paper? It's an interesting mental exercise to just imagine it. How would you manage?
We are also honored to announce the upcoming benefit concert next week...
Our volunteers have enjoyed meeting and helping many different people this year. We've learned a lot, grown a lot, and look forward to continuing in fall.
If you or someone you know is in need this summer, there is help available. These community organizations stand ready to assist. (for free)
South East Helping Hands (the food bank) - provides free groceries every other Wednesday from 2-5pm
Soup's On - serves a free hot meal every Tues and Fri evg at 5:00
Steinbach Family Resource Center (formerly Anna's House)
Agape House - helps women suffering with domestic violence
Today House - emergency overnight shelter
Southland Church - provides a bag of groceries, and also connection to many life-skills programs and a healthy community in which to make friends
Crisis Response Service - Confidential emergency crisis intervention
Eden Mental Health - addictions counselling, employment assistance through the Segue program, and housing support
And, the Steinbach Community Facebook page will continue running, providing info on free events and activities to enjoy during the summer, and offering encouraging and uplifting articles and quotes.
See you in September!