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Spreading Joy: 2023 Holiday Toy, Gift, and Gift Card Drive by Methodist Services


The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and giving. It's a time when communities come together to make a positive impact on the lives of those who may be facing challenging circumstances. Methodist Services, an organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families in need, is once again gearing up for its annual Holiday Toy, Gift, and Gift Card Drive in 2023. Methodist Services: A Beacon of Hope Methodist Services is on a mission to make a positive impact on the lives of children, adults, and families who are dealing with difficult situations like limited resources, poverty, homelessness, disabilities, and educational inequities. They provide a wide range of life-enriching programs that cover early childhood education, school-age programs, housing services, family support, mental health and counseling services, and nutrition programs. Their holistic approach recognizes that every aspect of a person's life is interconnected. The Annual Holiday Gift Drive One of the heartwarming initiatives by Methodist Services is their annual holiday gift drive. In 2023, the organization aims to provide a special gift to each of the 1,200 children and teenagers they serve. Additionally, they plan to gift every participant in their Education, Housing, Counseling, and Care Management programs with a gift card. These gifts are not just material items; they represent a gesture of compassion and a way to bring a little bit of joy and comfort to those who are facing adversity during the holiday season. How You Can Make a Difference Methodist Services believes in the power of community, and they invite you to join their mission. Your contribution, no matter how big or small, can make a significant impact. Here's how you can get involved: Donate Gifts and Gift Cards: Consider donating new and unwrapped gifts suitable for various age groups. From board books for infants to video games for high schoolers, your gifts can make children's holidays special. Gift Cards: Families treasure gift cards from popular retailers like Target, Kohl’s, Walmart, Best Buy, and Old Navy. These cards provide flexibility and allow recipients to choose items they need or desire. Baby Care Items: Many of the programs serve young children and families who could benefit from donations of new car seats, bouncy seats, high chairs, boxes of disposable diapers of all sizes, and other baby care items. Gift Wrapping Supplies: Methodist Services also appreciates receiving wrapping paper, gift bags, and bows. These items make the presentation of gifts even more special. Let's Come Together The deadline for donations is the week of December 11th, so it's time to start thinking about how you can contribute to this wonderful cause. Your generosity can bring smiles and happiness to mothers, children, and others during the holiday season. By donating, you can help Methodist Services fulfill their mission of making children's holidays special and supporting families in need. As we embrace the spirit of giving this holiday season, let's come together as a community and show those facing adversity that we care. Your kindness can make a world of difference in the lives of those who need it most. Suggested Donations:Young Children: Infants & Toddlers: Board Books, Toddler Toys, Mr. Potato Head, Peg Puzzles, Push & Ride-on Toys, Bibs, Diapers & WipesPre-School: Ages 3-5 Years: Age-Appropriate Books, Mr./Ms. Potato Head, Age-Appropriate Toys, Safe Blocks, Art Supplies (Paints, Finger Paints, Markers), Playdough, Fun Foam, Kinetic Sand, Craft Supplies (Ribbon, Yarn, Fabric, etc), Trucks, Cars, Active Toys, Dolls (African American, Latino, Other), Wooden Puzzles, Dress Up Clothing & Accessories, Learning GamesElementary School: Ages 6-10 Years: Action Figures, Legos, 30 to 50 Piece Puzzles, Age-Appropriate Books, Sports Equipment, Team Apparel, Arts & Crafts Supplies, Trucks, Train & Car Sets, Dolls (African American, Latino, etc.)Middle School: Ages 11-14 Years: Age-appropriate books, Bi-Lingual Books and games, Arts and crafts Supplies, Science Kits, Robotic Sets, Beauty and grooming Items, Sports Equipment, Team Apparel, Jewelry, Video Games, Gaming SystemsHigh School: Ages 15-18 Years: Age-appropriate books, Gift Cards, Arts and crafts Supplies, Sports Equipment, Beauty and grooming Items, Jewelry, Video Games, Gaming SystemsYoung Adult: Ages 18-24 Years: Pillows & Twin Comforters, Twin Bed Sheets & Mattress Protectors, Towel Sets & Washcloths, Shower Curtains & Liners, Dish Cloths, Board Games, Journals, Small Room Trash Cans, Dish Sets, Pots/PansAdults in Our Programs: Books, Jewelry, Beauty & Grooming Items, Personal Care Baskets, Hats, Scarves, Watches Monetary Donation

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CYEC Update

Posted By Janelle Larson & Kristine Adams

In last month’s The Lighted Cross, Janelle gave us an update on the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre. They were looking to start a Food Pantry to benefit those who need their services. Our Easter Sunday offering collection was earmarked for this food pantry. Well, we surpassed the goal of $750. $766 was collected!CYEC sends their thanks and gratitude for this wonderful gift. This will make a real difference in their community. Janelle will be traveling ot Kenya in May with students and she will provide an update and photos when she returns.

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UMCOR Responds to Earthquakes in Southern Turkey and Northwest Syria

Posted By UMCOR

Donations to support this international disaster relief and any others that might occur can be made through Berwyn United Methodist Church to UMCOR Advance # 982450. 100% of all gifts gifts to an Advance are used for that project because the overhead costs of UMCOR are supported through regular gifts and the designated UMCOR Sunday offering. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey at 4:17 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, the most powerful earthquake recorded since 1939. In the hours that followed, at least 78 aftershocks were reported, followed by a second earthquake of 7.5 magnitude. More than 5,000 people were killed, with deaths expected to rise. The earthquake also heavily impacted northwest Syria, where 4.1 million people depend on humanitarian assistance. The majority are women and children. At this time, Syrian communities are simultaneously facing an ongoing cholera outbreak and extreme winter weather events, including heavy rain and snow. The humanitarian response is overstretched due to the devastation and cold weather. UMCOR has released an initial solidarity grant to a longstanding humanitarian partner, International Blue Crescent (IBC), which has offices in Turkey. The grant will provide tents, heaters, blankets, warm clothes, ready to eat meals and basic first aid kits.{[ vimeo id:'797167963' ]}

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Stewardship For the Global Community

Posted By Steve Cherry

Paul Maina, an Oxford colleague of Janelle Larson, is in the states on break from his work as director of the Children & Youth Empowerment Center [CYEC] in Kenya. He spoke to the Every Topic Considered [ETC} Class on November 20th. You’ll recall that Berwyn UMC has partnered with him in support of this durable, successful project operating under extremely challenging conditions. Children and youth, many of whom were homeless and orphaned, are comprehensively supported giving them the best shot at whole and full life. Paul is articulate about the importance of helping young persons develop, in the Global Community in which we participate and are a part. We get to take part in God’s work while seeing the fruits of those labors bloom into success. [see emails: Giving Tuesday & Online Auction for Zawadi Fund International (ZFI), write to or see website ] For Berwyn UMC to be a force in the global community your participation in the church community is essential. Over the next several weeks you’ll receive some special requests: One is to make a plan for giving to BUMC for 2023 and respond by US mail or email. This helps us prepare for the various ministries and missions to which we’re called.  You can return your commitment to the church office on or before worship on December 11th.  You can also complete the form online at other is to consider a ‘2nd mile,’ end-of-year gift as part of your 2022 tax year charitable planning. This will help us address a spending deficit for the year. You can give in person on Sunday Morning, mail your gift to the church, or give online.  Learn about all of thew says to support the mission and ministry of the church at Maina is one who inspires us to see ourselves as part of a world community, aware of those for whom Jesus cared beyond our local community. Thanks for your being a part of the Berwyn UMC witness and participating in the global community.

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