Inaugural Box City Event in Atlanta at the City of Refuge Shelter
On August 4-5, 2017 and in collaboration with Restoration Atlanta (http://restorationatl.org) or RATL, our volunteers (men, women and children) decorated large boxes that were used to spend the night at the shelter (http://cityofrefugeatl.org) and simulate what many homeless persons experience every night in Atlanta. City of Refuge provides needed support to women and children who are homeless and, most importantly, provides job training on site to get these women jobs so they can afford housing away from the shelter. We were able to dine with the women and children, participate in bible study fellowship with the women and enjoy the children having a fun money in the gymnasium and playground on the premises. Several of us slept in the boxes and others spent the night in the great volunteer overnight accommodations at the shelter.
Here are a few of the testimonials from the volunteers:
My visit to the City of Refuge was a visit that I will never forget. I really didn't know what I was getting ready to encounter when I arrived, but I was put at ease when I saw some of the mothers with their children. I enjoyed speaking with the ladies and was thoroughly blessed by what each of them had to say. After each conversation, I knew that I was right where God wanted me to be. I felt a little bad, because they were pouring so much life into my spirit. These ladies had such beautiful minds and spirits, and I was blessed by hearing each of their testimonies. After breakfast, we had Bible Study and many of the ladies were encouraged to not give up. They were reminded that we do serve an amazing God, and he's with us throughout all phases in life. The ladies then had an arts and crafts project. I've found that many people really appreciate an listening ear when they are on this roller coaster of life. Sometimes they just need to release the thoughts that are bottled up inside. I was fortunate enough to sit next to ladies that were willing and felt comfortable enough to share their stories with me. I was not ready to leave, but all good things must come to an end. Rebekah
My wife and I were invited to spend the night at a homeless shelter by a friend of ours and we accepted not knowing what to expect. As we sat, I listened to my wife talk to the ladies and I was amazed at how quickly they were willing to share with her, and how much alike our expectations and dreams are. I watched the young boys interact with one another and saw the young men who were watching over them give them instructions as a father would. McArthur
I want to thank you for an amazing weekend at The City of Refuge Homeless Shelter. When I was first asked about going, I was hesitant because I really didn't know what was expected of me, but after much thought and prayer, I knew I had to do it. Because Jesus came into my heart, He put a concern for people in me and I want to do whatever I can to help. I loved talking, and listening to the concerns of the ladies. They were so easy to talk to. It seemed as though I was talking to my sisters. I love the setup at the Shelter. They seem to have a good program over there and the food was delicious. I also enjoyed the fellowship of the other volunteers. Joann
Inaugural MLK Community Service Day with The Packaged Good
We were so excited to celebrate community service on MLK Day, January 16, 2017, in collaboration with The Packaged Good https://www.thepackagedgood.org and to benefit the Community Assistance Center in Sandy Springs, Georgia and the North Fulton County area. The event was a great success as we made over 2,000 bags with toiletries and other essentials in about two hours. Thanks to everyone who came out in Sandy Springs to show their support and to help make Valentine cards and bags.
We are looking forward to collaborating with The Packaged Good again in 2018.
We collaborated with Hannah Brencher and her organization, The World Needs More Love Letters (www.moreloveletters.com) in our 2016 and 2017 Valentine campaigns to create handwritten Valentine cards. For the 2017 campaign, the cards were used in a drive to deliver Valentine bags to over 3000 homeless students in the Oklahoma City public school system. These letters and the bags were distributed by our collaboration partner, Loveworks Leadership (http://www.loveworksleadership.org).
The Homeless at Heart Team visited Norman, Oklahoma on October 21-22, 2016 to present to the Box City event hosted by Loveworks Leadership, a tremendous organization helping teens develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Thanks to Executive Director Michael Hirsch for all that he does with that organization. Charles spent Friday night in a sleeping bag inside a large cut out box with the 200+ kids attending the Box City event.