In 2017, 100 families in Roanoke, Virginia, moved from homeless shelters into sustainable housing, thanks to the efforts of Rescue Mission of Roanoke.
Last fall, members of the Thrivent Member Network – East Region partnered with Rescue Mission to help make the transition a little easier by providing "blessing baskets" filled with essentials to welcome families into their new homes.
As part of a Thrivent Action Team, volunteers stocked baskets with dish soap, laundry detergent, paper towels, toilet paper and basic cooking and cleaning supplies. While the baskets help cover the expense of some basic supplies, they mean much more to the families receiving them.
"As grateful as a family is to move into a new home, it can be challenging to do so with very little," says Lee Clark, Rescue Mission's CEO. "The baskets provided dignity and hope."
Rescue Mission of Roanoke is a Christian ministry that combats poverty, homelessness and addiction by taking a holistic approach to helping people in need. Safe shelter, food, clothing, medical care, recovery programs for alcohol and drug addiction, case management and job training are just a few of the services it provides.
"Thrivent's gifts showed these families that they are loved and valued. We got to experience the smiles, laughter and even tears on move-in day," says Clark.
"Together we can continue to find ways to impact lives for good." – Lee Clark, Rescue Mission CEO
Service inspires service
The Thrivent volunteers who gathered to fill the baskets were part of a larger, multistate workshop series, which included financial education from noted economist and retirement expert Tom Hegna. The Thrivent Member Network – East Region hosted these educational events. Volunteers throughout the region created 640 blessing bags and baskets to support families experiencing homelessness.
"We organize these activities around popular member events to engage and inspire 'contagious generosity.' By helping organizations like Rescue Mission, we hope to highlight the critical services they provide and inspire others to join us in strengthening our community," says Karen Fabean, board member of the East Region Thrivent Member Network.
Grassroots activities like the one in Roanoke can be potent reminders of the power of volunteering. "Activities such as this help us build awareness among not only local Thrivent members, but also the greater Roanoke area," says Fabean.
"It often takes a first step for someone to get involved in a ministry like the Rescue Mission," says Clark. "I hope the blessing baskets provided that first step as an introduction to our work. Together we can continue to find ways to impact lives for good."
Take the next step in making a difference
You can help support the work of Rescue Mission of Roanoke by making a personal donation. If you're an eligible Thrivent member, you can direct Choice Dollars® or apply to lead a Thrivent Action Team.
Find out how to get involved with your Thrivent Member Network.
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