Little children (believers, dear ones), let us not love [merely in theory] with word or with tongue [giving lip service to compassion], but in action and in truth [in practice and in sincerity, because practical acts of love are more than words].
1 John 3:18 AMP
Margo and I are inspired by so many of the people in our church who are not just talking about compassion, but are putting foot to pavement, meeting needs, and changing lives! There are so many opportunities to be involved in doing good at a local level.
Compassion for our local communities
Sal and Sabrina Mendez, who live here in Silicon Valley, have been tireless in their support of underserved students in the Sequoia Union High School District. Last Valentine’s Day, they partnered with their house church and a local “Brighten A Day” program to give thousands of dollars for care packages that included Target and Starbucks gift cards, dental hygiene supplies, and personal items to kids who have been in the greatest need.
Since the pandemic has been so difficult for so many and the holidays are approaching, they have again partnered with Brighten A Day, with the goal of giving gift cards to each displaced student so they can have the opportunity to experience the joy of Christmas shopping.
There are too many stories to tell of people like the Turner family who rallied their soccer team, house church, and other friends to partner with local organizations like Streets Team and provide meals and hundreds of cookies to encourage those in need.
Annual Toy Drive: Bay Area-Wide Impact
Fifteen years ago, after seeing the light of joy that can be sparked in the eye of a child in foster care by the simple act of receiving a toy, we started a small toy drive. Thanks to so many of your generous contributions and your giving of toys and gift cards, that small toy drive has now become one of the largest for foster kids in Northern California! You have given well over 18,000 toys and gift cards to foster kids and other children who are often overlooked and displaced.
Our toy drive has led to great partnerships with local heroes who lead agencies and organizations in the Bay Area that serve the kids in their community. We have been able to build relationships with and donate toys to over 12 different agencies and organizations that serve kids in the Bay Area. Here are just a few responses from those agencies.
“The gifts provided by BACC light up our kids’ faces every year. The kids know there are people in the community who they have never met that want them to have a great Christmas.”
Evan Jones, Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club
“When you give a foster child a toy, you give them a little something of their own to cherish and enjoy. This is why we are so grateful for your toy donations – it is a wonderful gesture that makes a big difference.”
Marla, A Better Way
Dave Channer, the CEO of A Better Way, sent us this personal thank you video last year:
This year we are so excited to be able to give again and meet specific needs. Florence Eriksson of Oakland Food Works has been able to understand and focus on the needs of young adults who were formerly unsheltered and now live in Oakland Tiny House Village. The gifts from our toy drive will help so many of them experience some joy this holiday season.
Remi Sobomehin and the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula have created a unique “holiday book drive” wish list in an effort to update their clubhouses’ libraries with books featuring Black and brown characters, to reflect their community and what their students read. So our gifts will be able to specifically meet both educational and emotional needs.
If you would like to put your compassion into action by donating to this year’s toy drive, visit bacc.cc/toydrive to find the Amazon Wish Lists for these organizations!
Remember, this is The Season To Care!
Till next week,
Scott and Margo Colvin
South Bay Lead Ministers