“As you did this to one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.”
I recently listened to Mr. Joe Habib, the Executive Director of St. Paul’s Community Center downtown Toledo talk about the Winter Crisis. He said, “When it is 22 degrees outside at night it is cold.” He reminded us that many nights late October and early November the temperature goes down into the 20s. The season of Winter Crisis begins mid-October and lasts into mid-April nights when it is too cold for our homeless to be outside. Too many of those nights the temperatures dip into life-threatening cold leading to hypothermia and death. Rev. Mary Sullivan shared with us the recent death of one such homeless man who died early November outside the back door of St. Paul’s UMC from hypothermia. Her story of the death of this child of God will be in our E-news next week.
We can do something in response to the Winter Crisis. I am writing a series of articles over the next several weeks urging us to help in our E-newsletter (sign up to recieve here). I will share what it costs to provide shelter, a bed and a meal for those who come in cold to the bone. I will break down the costs so that we know the quality of care they receive from the staff at St. Paul’s Community Center. I will tell us how we can serve and volunteer to help the staff. And today I give a list of items that will help alleviate the suffering and bring dignity to our neighbors, those whom Jesus reminds us are all around us, “As you did this to one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.” Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I give thanks for the people and congregations of this Maumee Watershed District, often generous to a fault. And I invite us to be so generous to our homeless over the next four months. Below you will find a list of how you can support with kindly gifts:
- hotel size bottles of shampoo
- hotel size bottles of soap
- hotel size bottles of toothpaste
- tooth brushes
- new socks
- new underwear, especially men’s briefs of all sizes
- gently used clothing especially for men
- monetary support
Click here for a printable list of items. Items may be dropped off at St. Paul’s Community Center (230 13th St, Toledo, OH 43604).
Rev. Rae Lynn Schleif
Assistant to the District Superintendent