Thursday, 19 July 2007

Requests update

I know that I haven't updated the blog lately with details of what we need. This is not because I have forgotten, but it is because the needs have been the same as the last request posted on 4th July. We still do need just about anything and everything, although at the moment we are doing well for dried pasta on its own. With this exception, please feel free to give any of the other items on the 4th July posting, including other pasta meals, pot noodles etc. I would add that we recently received a request for a food bag for someone with no cooking facilities and no access to boiled water. It was quite difficult to put together a bag of food for him, so please bear in mind that sometimes we do receive requests for the kind of food that requires no heating and no tin opener. Thank you very much

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Lesley's sponsored walk - testimony

As many of you will know, Lesley Cook undertook a sponsored walk in May to raise some money for Storehouse. Here is Lesley's own account of how she got on:
"I remember some months ago sitting in church and the offering buckets were being handed round and yet again I had no money to put in the bucket. I felt really bad because Vineyard has helped my family and me many times in many ways including financially. I kept trying to think of ways that I could give help. I wanted to be able to give more to Storehouse because I think it is a very worthwhile cause. I can’t imagine what it must be like to not know where your next meal is coming from or where you are going to sleep each night. I often complain because I can’t afford something I want, as we all do sometimes, but at least I have a roof over my head and something to eat and a loving family.
I decided that I would do a sponsored walk to try and raise some money for Storehouse. I knew it had to be a long walk to encourage people to give money. I also wanted to raise as much as possible from people who didn’t go to church and make more people aware of Storehouse and the need for help in our community. So I decided I would walk from my home I Mildenhall to church and after the service I would walk home again.
I set the date for Sunday 27th May, which was a bank holiday weekend, so I would have the Monday off work to rest. I began to try to raise sponsorship money, but to start with at work I met with a bit of hostility. As soon as I mentioned the word “church” my work colleagues didn’t want to know. Then I tried to explain that it was for people in the community that were in need of help, like people that are homeless. Then my colleagues said, “Well it’s probably their own fault that they’re homeless, they’re all druggies”. I said that our belief is that whether these people are good or bad it doesn’t matter at this moment they need something to eat. If we found someone who was in need of medical help would we check first to see if they were good enough to deserve medical help? Well it’s just as important to eat!
I had lots of help from my friends at WSVC and my family in raising sponsorships.
On Sunday 27th May I started the walk at 5:20am. I was expecting it to take approx 4 hours. I got to church at 9:10am and I was very wet because it had been raining, so I changed my clothes had a coffee and a donut. I left church to begin the walk home at 12:30pm, armed with another donut for energy. At this point I was not sure that I would complete the walk because I was already aching quite a lot, but I didn’t want to give up and I knew Jesus was with me every step of the way. My friend Trisha and my daughter Kirsty sent me some text messages to give me lots of encouragement, which I really needed. My husband Paul kept driving by and giving me drinks and at 4:30pm I finished walking. I ached a bit and was tired for a couple of days.
It took me a few weeks to collect all the sponsor money, but when I had collected it all and began to count it up I couldn’t believe how much was there, so I had to count it again, then I got Paul to count it up too. There was £705.00!!!! I am really grateful to everyone who donated money and I hope it will help to make a difference in some people’s lives.
A huge thank you and well done to Lesley for her walk, the money she raised (it has already started making a difference), and for sharing her experience here. Truly inspirational!

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Urgent requests update

For the last two weeks we have had to go out to buy food for Storehouse to give away, as we have had a large number of requests come in. Even so, we are still really short of most things apart from baked beans and soups. By way of a list, we are in urgent need of the following:

  • tinned meat and fish
  • tinned vegetables
  • instant mashed potato
  • tinned fruit and other desserts
  • pasta, rice, dry pasta meals, pot noodles etc
  • pasta sauces
  • cereals
  • tea, coffee, sugar
  • long life milk
  • all sorts of toiletries

Please note, that because of Re:Fresh there will be NO church this weekend, either on Sunday morning or evening, so please feel free to drop any donations of food or toiletries in at the Vineyard Centre during the week between 09:00 and 13:00. Thank you.

June stats

A very busy June saw 78 food bags leave the Vineyard Centre to 11 different agencies plus some non agency requests. This has been by far and away the most bags we have ever given away in a single month, and already in July we have given away a further 11 bags! Up to the end of June we have given away 295 food bags, compared with 179 by the same time last year. It is both exciting and challenging to see this ministry grow, as it reaches out to more and more people in our community.