Unseasonably warm (or rather, unreasonably toasty) weather didn’t keep Summit’s family and friends from dispersing throughout our cities to work alongside dozens of non-profit partners that serve our communities year round.
We tackled landscaping projects at local parks and facilities. We sorted donations to be delivered to those most in need of relief locally and globally. We created shoes and blankets for those who will need them in the months to come. We joined joyfully with God in His mission to care for all of His creation; people, creature and nature, we gave our Saturday to making our communities safer, healthier, and more beautiful.
One of my favorite things about niceSERVE is how these service opportunities forge and nurture relationships. I get to see how hard our non-profit partners work throughout the year to tackle huge injustices that plague our communities and care for those who are marginalized. niceSERVE is a glimpse of a larger body of organizations and people who are doing good and difficult work every day of the year. Central Florida is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, yet more than half of our local population can’t afford a day at the attractions. Our neighbors struggle to balance meager incomes with the needs of their families and too often they are forced to make impossible decisions about what they must do without. Some of our neighbors are facing unexpected hardships and don’t know where to turn. This is where our non-profit partners step in.
From providing shelter, clothing, food, and other items for those in crisis, the local agencies open their doors to help clients figure out how to make ends meet. Their staff members and volunteers help guide people through the storm. Too often that storm lasts longer than the person or family ever could have imagined, but those agencies stand firm with them and find ways through partnership and direct care to meet the gaps for their clients. This can mean physical resources, services, or relational needs.
You may already feel an urge to reconnect with the non-profit you served with at niceSERVE, or a desire to continue in service outside of the walls of Summit. I want to encourage you to lean hard into that desire as we approach the holiday season and see what God is up to in your heart and how He will use your faithfulness.
There are many different ways to invest time, talent, and stuff this holiday season. You can reach out to those in your immediate community needing care or to local non-profits to help them care for their clients. From visiting retirement homes, to creating care packages from home to donate, to serving at a local non-profit, you can make this season brighter for our city. Don’t just find time, I encourage you to make time to join God’s mission in caring for His people.