Help One Person – and You’ve Done a Lot - By: By Pastor Paul Foslien, Living Word Family Church in Naples

January 30th, 2017

It all started over breakfast with Scott.  Scott Burgess, the CEO of David Lawrence Center, is a parishioner of Living Word Family Church in Naples, where I am pastor.

During fellowship, Scott told me DLC needs basic items for people who come to their crisis unit or detox facility off the street. Often homeless, they arrive with only the clothes on their back, which are usually soiled. “I want to do something,” I said.  I asked Scott to give me a list of what’s needed.  I told him, “We’ll put it out to the whole church.”

We learned that DLC needs lots of clothes. Sometimes staff has nothing to give people while their clothes are being washed. Kids and adults need underwear, sweat suits, T-shirts, socks, female products, blankets, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes. And art supplies. Scott explained that for children in crisis, art therapy can be the only way to express feelings.

Our church has a slogan: “I Love My Community.” Several times a year, we look for organizations in our community that need help. I believe a church should go outside its four walls and help people who are less fortunate. If you see a need, help.

For me, this is also personal. I’ve struggled with depression in my life, and have helped a lot of people who are going through it. I believe in trying to bring greater attention to the importance of DLC, where people can go to for help.

I told parishioners, “This is all hands on deck. Let’s make this a big deal. Let’s do it for our community.” My congregation of about 3,000 heard my plea loud and strong.

I encouraged them by saying, “Every time you go to Wal-Mart, buy something extra. Maybe one tube of toothpaste, or a pair of socks. If we’re all doing it, we’ll have a ton of stuff.”

One man made and donated a huge table for us to use for the donations. We set it up with baskets in the church lobby.

For three weeks, people brought in items. A large portion of the church got involved. In the end, we had over a thousand items with a total value of about $7,000.

There are many ways to give. If you can’t manage a large cash gift, consider this saying: “Do for one what you wish you could do for all.” If you can buy one toy, one bike — do it.

Mental illness and addiction in our community are too big to ignore. Our community needs David Lawrence Center. We believe in what you do. That’s why Living Word Family Church will continue to support your work every year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *