This is Life Teen International’s 5th annual “Give It Away Now” Life Night. In 2008 they collected 300,000 pounds of clothing for donation to charities. In 2009 they collected 200,000 canned food items for local food pantries, and the following year they raised over $200,000 to help build wells that are now providing clean water to people in Africa. Last year, they collected over 100,000 baby items to help mothers and children who could not afford the basic necessities. As a community Life Teen has helped give clothing to the naked, food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, and have helped uphold the dignity of all human life.
This year Life Teen is challenging us as a community to serve some of the most marginalized in our society – those who have no place to call home. This year’s project is two-fold: to both collect needed items to donate to local homeless shelters, and to get teens to commit to service hours at these shelters. There are many misconceptions and stereotypes that exist among teenagers (and adults) about people who are homeless. These ideas can lead to an attitude that individuals who have no home are “worth less” than people who do. This Life Night (September 23, 2012) and Light Night (September 25, 2012) will help teens see the real human story behind the people who struggle to find shelter.
The nights begin outside the church with a small group challenge to build a shelter out of items a person could find on the street. The night then breaks open the activity and presents teens with the call of Jesus to welcome those who are “strangers,” and includes welcoming Darla, coordinator of Family Promise and a witness from a family who has gone through the program. Then, teens process the talk and witness and are challenged to commit time during the coming semester to service. The closing prayer focuses on teenagers adopting an attitude of love to people they meet on a daily basis – especially people who are marginalized or whom they struggle to love. We can’t wait to share this project once again with our Santa Maria del Mar Church family as we help our teens help the Homeless. Please bring your donations to the church on Saturday September 22nd at the 5pm Mass, Sunday September 23rd after all the Mass or Tuesday night to the 6pm Mass and/or Light Program. These nights will all be held in the church. All donations will go to St. Francis Homeless Shelter in St. Augustine, Family Promise, and the Cold Weather Shelter. Below is a list of suggested donations:
Cleaning supplies (all types)
Laundry Detergent/Dryer Sheets
Paper Towels/Toilet paper
Toiletry Items (soap, shampoo, razors)
Office supplies (pens, folders, hanging folders, copy paper, paper clips, push pins)
Non-perishable food items
Towels and Washcloths
Paper products (plates, napkins, cups, cutlery, etc.)