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Imagine being hungry and not knowing where your next meal will come from. Imagine feeling the cold of winter and needing a blanket or coat to be warm again. Imagine not having food in your home to feed your family. Imagine needing help and information during an unexpected pregnancy. Imagine not being able to provide your children with the clothes, shoes and other things they need. Imagine needing to stay close to a loved one who has been hospitalized far from you. Imagine having no place to go and not knowing where you will sleep tonight. These scenarios, along with many others, were on the minds and hearts of over 150 volunteers from Epicenter Church during the 2011 holiday season.

Volunteers fed the homeless with bag lunches, bottles of water and spaghetti dinners. Everything was prepared at the church and teams delivered these meals to the homeless shelters and areas ofthe community where members of the homeless community are often found. Volunteers also conducted a blanket and clothes drive. The items collected from these drives were given to the homeless and people in need. Many people were thankful for the items they received and for the kindness in which they were given during the holiday season.

Epicenter Church members also provided support services for other community and volunteer organizations during the holiday season. Volunteers worked with the Salvation Army which provides disaster relief, youth camps, Christmas charity and more. Church members worked with the Stanton Hospitality House which provides family members with a supportive and understanding environment to stay in for a small donation while their loved ones are hospitalized in one of our area hospitals. The AAA Crisis Pregnancy Center of Operation Blessing, the Hope Center Homeless Shelter and William H. Owen Elementary school also received a dose of help from Epicenter Church. Additionally the church adopted foster children for Christmas and had a food bank for people in need. Church members personally made an effort to complete random acts of kindness whenever the opportunity presented itself.

“One team, one heart, one mind, to serve community” is the volunteers’ motto. This motto gathered all of the volunteers together in spirit and always kept in mind as the volunteers carried out their missions. All of these successful volunteer efforts were made possible by Mark Knight, the pastor of Epicenter Church. He organized events, assigned responsibilities, created partnerships with community resources and worked alongside everyone else. The volunteers gathered under his leadership and ensured mission was carried out properly.

The actions of these volunteers had a tremendously positive impact on many people in our community. From each homeless person fed and clothed to each volunteer who gave their time and love and everyone else who was touched by Epicenter Church, lives were changed by the caring volunteer efforts that were made during the 2011 holiday season.