Our team, Presbyterians with a Purpose, had another great year raising money to find cures for cancer and raising awareness. We raised $7635.00 so far with a couple more fund raisers yet to take place. Our team came in second of the 25 teams participating in 2013. A new long-term study, Cancer Prevention Study 3, is beginning with 137 participants signing up at the event. So far, the Fenton Relay for Life has raised $50,586 this year.
Our first Red Cross blood drive for 2013 went very well on June 1. We had 51 pints donated including 3 double red donations and 7 first time donors! The last two blood drives have been very successful so we will increase our goal and add staffing to make the process quicker. Many thanks to the blood donors as well as the volunteers who helped make this success possible! Giving blood saves lives and benefits so many people.
Tri-County Christmas In Action performed significant home repairs to 5 homes of low-income or handicapped seniors in the Linden/Fenton area during April 2013. Eight volunteers from our church worked 1-3 days at a house on Wass Street in Fenton. Our team constructed a wheel chair ramp into the front of the home, cleaned and painted in the home, performed electrical repairs and did a huge amount of yard clean-up. Other volunteers at the house also installed new floors, new kitchen cabinets and countertop, a new walk-in shower and a deck railing in the back of the house. The homeowner was very appreciative.
Habitat for Humanity was able to purchase a foreclosed house with lots of potential from a bank and then rehab that house for a nice young couple who will be moving to Fenton. Volunteers from St. Jude’s Episcopal Church and First Presbyterian Church of Fenton joined efforts on April 10-12 to re-paint the entire interior of the three bedroom ranch house on Shiawassee. In addition, the majority of the shrub overgrowth was removed outside. In the next couple of weeks, contractors, volunteers and the homeowners will completely rehab the house. The home dedication is scheduled for May 19, 2013.
Fifteen members from our church traveled to the North End Soup Kitchen in Flint on Saturday, March 16, to prepare and serve a lunch to people in crisis. Larry and Janet headed up our meal preparation by deciding on a menu and purchasing the necessary items with money the youth collected on Souper Bowl Sunday. Some items for the meal were also donated by other members. We served chicken stir fry on rice, egg drop soup, ambrosia salad, bread, donuts, and two large sheet cakes. The winter weather reduced the number of people we served to about 75. Everyone really liked the meal and we enjoyed their company.
The deacons are coordinating the Easter Basket Project, where qualified families in the community receive the ingredients for a complete Easter dinner. Members and friends of the church who want to help these families can pick up shopping bags with a list of suggested items on Sunday March 3, 10, or 17 after church. Please return these bags to church by Sunday March 24th.
On Saturday, February 23, ten volunteers from our church traveled to the Shelter of Flint to clean and paint a one-bedroom apartment as well as to sort and organize an art supply closet for the children. The Shelter is always short of housing and very much wanted the apartment refurbished so that it could be occupied quickly. The women who were on a church retreat donated a large number of “wish list” items that were warmly received. Our tour of the Shelter demonstrated how well they use those donations to assist their guests! The Shelter of Flint is a multi-faceted organization that provides much-needed emergency and transitional housing for the homeless as well as numerous programs designed to help the homeless find their way to a better life.
Stewardship of all God’s creatures is emphasized by our service to the Fenton Adopt-a-Pet mission. Our 21 volunteers had a great time socializing the animals, talking with the staff, cleaning the floors and painting the surgery room. The Adopt-a-Pet mission seeks “to find loving homes for homeless dogs and cats as well as assist people in the community to find homes for their personal animals.” A couple of our youth signed up to be regular volunteers at Adopt-a-Pet!
The generosity of our community for those in need was reaffirmed Saturday, December 15, as members of our congregation rang the Salvation Army Bell. Over 40 participants of all ages smiled and greeted shoppers outside WalMart and VG’s as the kettles received donations to help our brothers and sisters experience the hope of Christ’s presence this Christmas Season. A special thanks to all the individuals and families who shared their time ringing the joyful “good news” of love and peace.