One of life’s nagging questions that many have asked over the ages is, “Did my life make a difference? What impact have I had? As members and supporters of Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church and its programs, I want to assure you that the answer is YES.
As the leader of one of Sligo’s ministries, Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington (ACSGW), the answer is YES. Yes, you are making a difference in your community. I can fill a number of pages with facts and statistics on how that difference is being made. For example, last year ACSGW handed out over 93 tons of food to nearly 3500 families. That number will be even higher for 2016, as over the past 3 months about 10 more families have been served each day since late summer. That is a 25% plus increase.
Then, there were 593 children that got a Christmas toy last year, and almost 14,000 articles of clothing taken from the ACSGW closet. There were also the 150 kids around Briggs Chaney who spent 6 weeks in a day camp, run by ACSGW, learning to swim. At the same time, they worked on building their math skills and enjoyed a summer in a safe setting. Many of these kids got most of their daily food at the camp. Just this week over 750 Thanksgiving baskets that were distributed!
None of the above-mentioned, and more, could have happened without your financial aid, time and prayerful support of ACSGW. All these numbers leave a good feeling, but the better feeling comes from the stories. One lady who lived here 15 years, joined an ACSGW English class and learned how to read English. A few weeks ago she was finally able pass the test and become an American citizen.
A volunteer told me this week that she too once was needing help with feeding her family when ACSGW came to her aid. She feels so strongly about the work of ACSGW that she now helps make Thanksgiving a happy day for other families in need.
A month ago a manager from an area nonprofit came to see me. As we talked he mentioned that he grew up on Maple Avenue and that his mother clothed and helped feed the family with ACSGW help.
All of the ACSGW staff and volunteers had their hearts warmed on Tuesday. Each morning we pause for a short devotion to start the day. Anyone seeking assistance is welcome to join. Our reading for the day was around the widow who collected jars to fill with oil, as directed by Elisha (2 Kings 4). With resources tight and with the press of the Thanksgiving basket distribution, this was a very timely and encouraging message. After prayer the person who had arrived early for her Thanksgiving basket announced that this reminded her that she needed to restart a daily time with God as she had in her youth!
These are your stories. Because of your faithful support of Sligo and ACSGW you are part of this experience. I am pleased to enable you to see your impact on struggling lives.
I look forward to our continued partnership in 2017. Yes, you are making a difference!
Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington