Portraits of the Jersey Shore New Beginnings Church Thanksgiving Holiday Outreach Volunteer Jay (Sunday)

Church Holiday Outreach Volunteer – Jay

“We are serving people boxes with Thanksgiving meals in them for their families. Some of the people we serve are in motels or in other situations that are tough, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t have something nice to eat on Thanksgiving day. Our boxes will feed between 6 to 8 people for Thanksgiving. But this is not something we do just at Thanksgiving time. The Box of Kindness campaign is something New Beginnings church does year-round.

“We also do this outreach in the Keyport-Hazlet-Union Beach area. Those communities are still struggling really bad. The Mayor of Keyport was so happy to hear we are doing this. The ex-Mayor of Hazlet was inspired by what we are doing and told us he is actually going to cook the turkeys in an oven himself and will open his doors and will serve the turkeys he cooked on Thanksgiving Day.

“At Christmas time we will always do something for the kids. Two Christmas’s ago we rented out the entire Chuckie Cheese, and invited all of the kids and their families who had visited our food pantry during the year. They did not have to pay a dime for the event. That just blew the parents mind that it was for free for their families. But the way we see it, is we can help during Christmas one of two ways: We can buy their kids a 5 or 10$ gift, or we can give the entire family a gift of an experience they will always have with them, that allows them to spend some family time together and have lasting memories.

“So now we have families whom we have helped in the past who have gotten back on their feet and are now on the helping side of our food pantry, assisting other families in need. That’s called ‘positive fruit.’ We are big believers that every church has a calling to feed our communities. Not just with food, but with encouragement. We get to be with the people and see the results of the people we are helping, and it is really great to see. We believe that in helping the people who are down and encouraging them that they will see the world in a whole new light. We want to restore their dignity and their hope. And that is what we do outreaches like Box of Kindness: We serve our community to help people see that there is good in this world.”

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