Photo Courtesy of Anawim Christian Community
I just returned from visiting Anawim Christian Community in East Multnomah County. I had been there on one occasion last year, but life circumstances sidetracked me from pursuing a deeper connection with them. That one visit, plus the time I spent with HomePdx, penetrated my heart. I want to do my part to support their efforts to feed and clothe the homeless in East County.
When I arrived, there was generous kindness. No one questioned why I was there, but they did take a genuine interest when I shared briefly my desire to help. I met several people, a few of them new to Portland. I concluded my visit with a conversation and impromptu tour of the grounds by Pastor Steve Kimes. I asked, “What are your greatest needs?”
He listed several key items: “White athletic socks, two person tents, sleeping bags, winter coats, and blankets.”
“I’m can’t make any promises, but I will do what I can,” I said.
“I understand,” he replied.
As he showed me the warehouse and storage areas where donations are gathered, sorted, and distributed, he illustrated the dramatic need of the items I listed above. He held his hand up in the air. “The table was piled this high with eighty sleeping bags this morning. Now we just have a few left.”
My jaw dropped open. Just today, over one hundred people were served by Anawim. I interacted with a few of them as they ate hot food, picked out socks and sleeping bags, and asked for other kinds of help.
These are real people, friends. Regardless of how they arrived at this point in their lives, their need is legitimate. Will you join me in helping? If you live outside of the Portland area, you can go to their donate page and use
PayPal to donate finances. If you live in Portland, especially on the east side, why not gather some of the items listed above and bring them personally to Anawim? Again, the need is legitimate. And the supplies are being distributed wisely. The donate page has all the details regarding where to go and when they accept items.
What about you? What will you do to help meet the tangible needs of your neighbors who do not have shelter?