The Mission: Alive with Hope

photo-1464660756002-dd9f9a92b01b_flagThis election season has been a trying time for many. On social media and the airwaves, it often seems like a nation divided. People are passionate about political issues, and operate from a deep commitment to their values. For Christians, in particular, the stakes feel high. And yet, regardless of what side of the fence one may be on, there is a troubling sense of tension and discord. Issues of immigration, defense, life, education, taxes and scandalous rumors on both sides threaten to split us right down the middle.

And yet. There is an abiding feeling of hope that perpetuates, shining through these dark clouds on North Avenue.

This time of year, the mission is abuzz with new clients, enthusiastic volunteers and busy staff members. Like a beehive, still and stable, and yet alive with movement, the building stands motionless while the occupants inside generate a great deal of activity. Guests gather to eat and choose a bed for the night after a warm shower and changing into clean clothes. Clients in our longer term programs dutifully contribute by doing chores and serving our guests. Phones ring to life with questions of how to get help. Staff members’ encouraging voices answer with words of hope and possibility. The doorbell rings and on the other side of the glass stands a neighbor, arms full of needed donations. A few moments behind her is a neighbor who happens to be in need. A bag of groceries is given. Gratitude expressed.

This is a building that comes to life every day because people come to have their needs met, and others come with the ability to meet needs. It is our joy and honor to be the conduit in this system of needs. What a pleasure to be the place where people come because they know they can get help, as well as the place people think of when they decide they want to help. We provide a place that we believe is a healing community. A place that reflects the love of Christ. We help the help happen.

If you would like to help as the holiday season ramps up, there are so many ways you can do that in partnership with Light of Life. To name a few –

Of course, we always welcome your financial donations. By making a contribution you allow us to do everything from send a sick client to the hospital, to paying the water bill that launders hundreds of homeless people’s clothing, to covering the maintenance charges on a vehicle that delivers food to hungry kids each week. To make a contribution, please visit lightoflife.org/give or contact Melanie Holcombe at mholcombe@lightoflife.org.

We also are often in need of volunteers, particular after the holiday season, and over the summer. We are always (year-round) looking for mentors for our adult clients and we also have several major fundraising events each year, for which we recruit committee members. If any of these opportunities are of interest to you, contact Emily Rabatin at erabatin@lightoflife.org.

If you are currently making estate planning decisions, please consider leaving a bequest to Light of Life in your will. Leaving a gift to us allows you to leave a legacy. Contact Doug Smith at dsmith@lightoflife.org for more information.

Jessi Marsh

Jessi Marsh is the Director of Advancement for Light of Life. She has worked at nonprofit organizations in rural Ohio, Seattle, WA, and her hometown of Pittsburgh, primarily serving vulnerable populations. Jessi graduated from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and holds a master's degree in Nonprofit Management from Carlow University. She has been blogging for 15 years.

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