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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Christmas spirit spread through service

A Saturday morning in December normally is dedicated for sleeping, but a group of Feather staff members and a three other campus students were commited to serving in downtown Fresno during the Christmas season.

A group of 15 traveled with adviser Greg Stobbe to clean playground equipment, walkways, offices and other rooms while delivering canned food, clothes and toys to the Evangel Home on Dec. 9 from 9-11 A.M.

?It?s important for Fresno Christian to be involved in the community,? Brittany Stobbe, ?09, said, ?because we are a Christian school and the Bible says that we need to serve others whole heartedly.?

While the staff collected donated items over the last week, the students met at school at 8:30 A.M. and made the 20-minute trip to a neighborhood foreign to most of them.

Inspiration for the project came during a Feather staff meeting when it became apparent the campus did not plan a school-wide community opportunity for gift-giving and service.

?Christmas is a time that we focus on God?s gift to us, his Son, Jesus,? Stobbe said. ?Symbolically, by giving back to the community, we are giving back to God.?

After researching several potential projects, Feather staff writer, Claire Kister, ’08, discovered Evangel Home, a non-profit Christian organization dedicated to helping women and children in difficult situations.

?A family friend organized a visit from an Evangel Home representative to our church the week I was trying to find a charity project for the Feather,? Kister said. ?I didn?t want to pass up the opportunity to be involved in this organization.?

Founded in 1955 by Pauline Baker Myers, Evangel Home became one of the first services in the country committed to helping women. It provides shelter, along with clothing and necessary personal items to women and children. Along with three meals a day, counseling is offered and Christian chapel services, twice a day.

Volunteer coordinator Joyce Williams was estatic the group was on hand to clean areas that often get overlooked from a staff which has a lot to do each week.

“These students came with a lot of energy and quickly got to work,” Williams said. “We haven’t had another group here to help for almost a month so this was very timely. They cleaned areas we haven’t gotten to yet this fall. The playground equipment, toys, walkways and rooms all look wonderful. Thank you so much! We appreciate their work.”

According to Evangel Home?s website, ?Women come from a variety of situations, but one thing most have in common is something called disaffiliation- they aren?t connected to anyone or anything positive and they feel increasingly isolated in their struggles with issues such as homelessness, poverty, bad choices, depression, substance abuse or relational violence.?

There are three stages of recovery for women in Evangel Home. The first stage is the emergency shelter, where women can stay up to 30 days, with meals and shelter. If they still need help, they move into apartments, for a maximum of nine months, and take classes to learn life skills. The last stage is GARDEN (God Answers, Redeems, Delivers Everyone who draws Near), an alternative jail-sentencing program.

The Feather staff collected a variety of donated canned food items along with brand new, unwrapped toys from the student body. Currently there are 11 boys and 8 girls who will spend their Christmas at the Evangel Home.

“This was a great oppurtunity to serve and I felt like I made a difference. The place really benefited by the work we did.” Benjamin Dang, ’08, said.

In addition, clothes and electronics were collected. However, there is still a long list of items that the Evangel Home is short on. The list includes non-perishable food items, paper products, winter clothes for all ages and stationary items. A complete list is available. Please e-mail [email protected].

?I tried to donate anything I could find,? Whitney Chessum, ?08, said. ?These kids deserve to have presents like everyone else. Thanks to the donations, the kids will be able to live better and their moms can put the little money they have toward a better future.?

There is still time to volunteer at the Evangel Home and to donate towards making Christmas for those housed there.

For more information on the Evangel Home, contact Williams at (559) 264-4714.

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