As winter is now upon us and the temperatures are reaching frosty numbers, we should reflect on those in need. The homeless are living in cardboard boxes with t-shirts and no scarves. Maybe, some folks in your town are living without heat because they can’t afford it. How about the children attending school, who haven’t worn clean clothes in days because their washing machine broke down and their families cannot afford to repair it? This time of year, we all need to look inward and begin helping those in need.
You can help those in need in many ways. Go through your closets, and rather than throwing out your clothes, donate them to a local thrift shop or put in a clothing bin. In Jefferson, we have The New Hope Thrift Shop, run by the United Methodist Church. The New Hope Thrift Shop does a beautiful job helping the needy, with affordable clothes, home goods, and furniture. For more information on the New Hope Thrift Shop, go to http://www.miltonumc.net/ministries/outreach/new-hope-thrift-shop/.
You can also help the needy by donating to the Salvation Army, which is a Christian social service ministry dedicated to helping alleviate human suffering. They provide services ranging from homeless shelters to clothing distribution centers, to senior assistance and emergency relief. The Salvation Army is seeking donations to help them provide for those in need. For more information on the Salvation army go to https://newjersey.salvationarmy.org/NewJersey/about
The needy could also be senior citizens who have a hard time doing daily chores or running errands. If you know a senior citizen who is struggling, help them with their groceries, or doing their laundry, maybe you could shovel their snow. Remember, no task is too small for those in need.
Other suggestions for helping the needy are donating to food drives, helping at homeless shelters and soup kitchens, or maybe helping a single mom find some free time to have fun. However, you choose to help the needy, do it from the heart.
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth”. 1 John 3:17-18