The call went out in the middle of November for volunteers. “We are in need of food donations, servers, and other volunteers,” the request read. “We are also collecting blankets, coats, socks, and hats for all ages to give to the homeless.” As December 26 approached, the planners were anxious to see how the Lord would work in their community as they sought to feed and clothe the homeless on the day after Christmas. Using the Adventist Community Center in downtown Phoenix as a central location, the organizing team invited members of the Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) leadership to participate in the event.
“We served about 250 meals to the homeless on the street and distributed warm clothing items and blankets to them as well,” said Ugonna Woods. Dr. Woods is a pediatrician in the greater Phoenix area who volunteers as the Director of Health Ministries for the Arizona Conference.
With over 50 volunteers from area churches, Woods and fellow organizer April Landeros were thrilled with the turnout. “The event was a great success, and we are looking forward to doing this more often in 2023,” Woods said.
In addition to the meals and clothing, GYC leaders held a special meeting that about 30 guests attended prior to a meal. The cooperation between the community center, local church volunteers, and GYC leaders helped make a difference on the streets of Phoenix, which have seen an increase in homeless encampments in recent years. Serving others with love is a central theme for both the Adventist Community Center and the Health Ministries team.
By Jeff Rogers
The event was a great success, and we are looking forward to doing this more often in 2023.