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What refuses to take a holiday.

January 12, 2015

Most everyone will be back to work, school, and the full plate of responsibilities by tomorrow. The holidays will be officially over.

It is wonderful to have a break from the demands of “life” and savor the later wake up, the pajama past noon opportunity, the let the kids stay in bed mornings, and the freedom to shut off the phone, computer and pagers. Whew! Thank goodness for holiday breaks!

However you didn’t lay dormant. During that break you rose to the occasion and supplied the gift of Christmas Dinners to 101 households in our community. You felt the urge to act, the kindness stir within you, and reached out with the most amazingly compassionate hands and feet; either donating funds, food, items, or time and made this the most amazing Christmas outreach ever to ripple through Lemont. You heard and became of a chance to commit an act of kindness and met it. That was then…….

Two in a half weeks later many of us are back to the grind. We’ve received our December bills, are focused on getting paperwork together to file those dreaded taxes, and focused on getting the best start on the New Year that we can. The holiday break is over.

Those whom we visited on Christmas know very intimately “what” refuses to take a holiday break and they never for one day were relieved of that burden. You provided an amazing gift to them, you served them the most remarkable of Christmas Dinners, you filled needs of personal care and cleaning products, you rallied donations of gift cards, and you made their hearts feel uplifted by being important enough for your attention, compassion, and generosity.

“Thank you for all of the nice gifts. She needed the pajamas. And loved that they were Mickey Mouse. The ham especially good.”

“Thank you and Hope & Friendship for the wonderful Christmas meal, etc. I wanted to let you know that I was able to share it with three Vietnam vets who were very happy and grateful.”

“I hope your Christmas was as beautiful as you made ours.”

“Thank you for everything you gave us with the meal. I wasn’t expecting so much and we really appreciate it. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas & hope you have a wonderful New Year.”

“Dear Terri and friends,
Yet another wonderful memorable Christmas for our family thanks to Hope and Friendship. A special thanks to those who went out of their way on their Christmas to cook our meal and to those who delivered meals to those of us who are financially disabled. They are all special people with a special gift that can only be given to them by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God Bless you and all at Hope and Friendship, Have a Blessed, Healthy and Happy New Year!”

They received more than the gift of a dinner, they received the gift of a “break” from the storm, at least for the moments that they enjoyed the meal you prepared and provided on Christmas Day. Then life roared back full force……

Illnesses, layoffs, strains of finances, battles with disabilities, and the reality of emotional strains screamed back at them that there are no holidays from the lot they have found to be the merry go round of life. Cancer, the pain of the loss of a loved one, unemployment, and life blows do not take a holiday. Though we were able to provide a beautiful temporary distraction on Christmas Day to those that lived in economic, physical, and emotional strain, a bit of food and supplies to aid for a small period of time, there is still much need in those homes and unfortunately many more due to illnesses, work slow downs, and lay offs. Is that your problem?

No.

However, if you cared to help two and a half weeks ago, could you make a difference today?

Yes.

My goal for 2015 is to be a bigger, better and badder (bad in the good way, mind you!!!) conduit from those that have to those that need than WE ever have been! It can be as simple as offering your surplus of items, donations, and time, or it can be as massive as you calling me and saying “Terri, I want to take on leading one of the Hope and Friendship events and help make it happen.”
Wow.
Hugs, tears, more hugs, excitement would ensue. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Winter Clothing Give Away, Bike Recycle, Kid’s Summer Activities, all are conduits of what you have to offer to those whom need your surplus right here within your arm’s reach. Most of the time we’re just moving “treasures” from one home to another. Other times we need you to meet needs with funds, food, or hands and feet.

We live in a community of 21,000 (Lemont Township), just about 5% of that 21.000 lives at or below poverty. 1050 persons. With an average of 3 per household that is a rough estimate of 350 homes/apartments.

http://censusreporter.org/profiles/06000US1703142808-lemont-township-cook-county-il/

This is doable my friends. We can meet these simple, humble and basic needs of our neighbors, if we don’t, no one else will come into our Village and do it for us. We do not live in a community that will win any hearts of grants or endowments with an average income of $83,000. Therefore it is up to those who live here to meet the needs here, just as we have been working toward doing. With a new year and a new commitment to be “bigger, better and badder” at offering what you can, as you can, and as you are able, we will be able to move more items to those that need them, meet more needs, engage in more activities and acts of compassion, network on more opportunities for work for those seeking and lower that percentage of need and raise the number of those who are joining us to meet “our” need.

It was my mission in December of 2005.
In December of 2014, ten Christmas’ later I was so moved to see that I was far from alone in this mission.

Now what?

If you don’t get the Hope and Friendship emails that will keep you abreast on the activities and needs please email info@hopeandfriendshipfoundation.com and let me know to include you in them. Join me on Facebook “Hope and Friendship Ministries” and/or “Terri O’Neill-Borders”. Have a favorite Hope and Friendship Event that you’d like to help with, lead or rally support for?? Email, call or holler and I’ll come running to talk to you about that!! I am one. I am only the conduit. I can want to meet needs until I’m blue in the face. You are the part of the Mission Statement that matters:
“A conduit from those that have the ability to meet needs to those that need.”

“None of us has gotten where we are solely by pulling ourselves up from our own bootstraps. We got here because somebody bent down and helped us.” ~ Thurgood Marshall

May we be the ones who unite to bend down. May we be the ones who lift up our neighbor not just during the holidays but everyday. I look forward to extending my hands and feet with you to be a “bigger, better and badder” conduit of countless acts of compassion throughout 2015!

Wishing you peace & love, and giving thanks for you my friends,
Terri
When I am feeling frustrated, confused, unsure, or just plain drained, I reach for words from a very old book to encourage me, inspire me, and lead me to do what I can, with what I have, as I am able. I hope they inspire you as well.
Hebrews 13:16 – Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Philippians 2:4 – Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Luke 6:38 – Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

1 John 3:17 – 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?

Matthew 25:35-40 – For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

James 2:14-17 – What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

John 15:12 – “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Proverbs 19:17 – Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Terri O’Neill-Borders
Email- terri@hopeandfriendshipfoundation.com
Website- http://www.hopeandfriendshipfoundation.com
Wordpress- https://hopeandfriendshipfoundation.wordpress.com/

Hope and Friendship Foundation
721 Hickory St, Lemont, IL 60439
630-816-4972
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31: 8-9

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