This Christmas, Let’s Come Together To Bless Thousands in Our Community
The San Antonio Beacon shares how a single donation can help eight ministries bless thousands of families throughout the city.
From waking up bright and early on Christmas morning, to running out to the tree to see what Santa delivered, children personify the spirit of the Christmas season: innocence, happiness and miracles.
Your Christmas morning memory as a child might have been similar. However, this is a far cry from the memories hundreds of thousands of people in San Antonio will experience this year. According to data in the 2017 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates, of the 1.48 million people living in San Antonio, 17.3 percent, or more than 257,000 people, live below the poverty level. Of that total, more than 97,000 are children under the age of 18!
Many of these children live in single-parent households in impoverished neighborhoods, surrounded by violence and drugs. It’s difficult for these families to afford to pay bills, put food on the table, and meet basic medical needs, and Christmas shopping is often left out of the budget. Adding to the daily stress of providing for the family’s basic needs and safety, these parents often feel shame and deep disappointment, not being able to give their own children the excitement and joy so many other children experience during Christmas.
We are fortunate to live in a community that has countless events and efforts dedicated to filling this need and doing God’s work during the Christmas season. Collaboration is a central value of the San Antonio Beacon and we are seeking to multiply our efforts. The Beacon is providing a path for the community to make a single monetary donation to its charitable arm, Transformation, which will simultaneously benefit several causes throughout the city.
The Beacon is joining forces with the outreach efforts of eight local ministries to bless families across San Antonio with a traditional Christmas experience, complete with a warm meal and presents. “Many of these families will have a limited Christmas, if any at all, and these may be the only presents they receive this year,” said Bill Morgan, of Moment of Truth Ministries.
“We want to give these kids dignity and bless them with acts of kindness,” said Mark Lugo, of Mark Lugo Ministries. When speaking with the ministries, they underscored treating these people with respect, reassuring them that they are not forgotten, they are not alone, and there is an entire community that loves them. “This isn’t about being judgmental, it’s about being hopeful,” said Warren Beamer of The Dream Center. All donations made through the Beacon will be divided evenly among the eight ministries.
As Christians, we know presents are not the meaning of the season, but what these events and gifts can represent for these children and their parents are that of hope, faith and especially love. It is an opportunity to allow these families to put their burdens aside if just for a day. A reminder of gifts carrying higher meaning is illustrated in the Book of Matthew with the story of Jesus’ birth and his visit from the three wise men.
Jesus was also born to humble parents and modest surroundings, covered only in cloths in a manger. However, three highly regarded wise men, having heard of a great prophecy, traveled a long distance to bless the child who was “born King of the Jews.”
Their reverence was demonstrated in the gifts they bestowed on the child. One gave gold, or the metal of the kings, recognizing Jesus as the King of Kings. Another gave incense, often used in church worship, acknowledging Jesus’ future priestly teachings. And lastly, Jesus was given myrrh, which was used for embalming; perhaps signifying the profound and necessary suffering Jesus would endure at the end of his life.
The three wise men relied only on their beliefs and divine intervention to lead them to the family that night and worship Jesus, the promised King. They brought sacrificial gifts that had deep meaning. In the same way, your sacrificial giving to these causes will have deep meaning for the families that are being served.
Similarly, none of us know the complete circumstances or the intended paths God has for the families we will bless this year. Perhaps they lost their way, or are stuck in a cycle of drugs, abuse or poverty they feel they cannot break. Our only duty is to give in a way that will increase their faith in Christ and help advance them on a journey to meet Him and live in His grace.
Your single financial gift will be multiplied and touch our entire city
as it is shared with these eight ministries:
The Dream Center
Westside. On Dec. 22, the Dream Center will host its annual Christmas event, blessing 1,500 people with toys, dinner and fellowship. Donations will also impact the ministry’s daily mission to provide “survival bags” including basic toiletries, clothes, diapers, groceries and meals to those in need.
Last Chance Ministries
Westside. On Dec. 15, Last Chance Ministries will host its 12th Annual Christmas Toy Giveaway. An official part of SA300, the event will provide entertainment, food and gifts for more than 2,500 people.
Moment of Truth Ministries
Eastside. The 11th year of the “Happy Birthday, Jesus” celebration will take place on Dec. 15 to give more than 125 kids gifts, food and Christmas activities. Donations will also be used towards the ministry’s adoption of 22 families, in which they provide basic household needs, home repairs and remodels.
Mark Lugo Ministries
Southside and Surrounding Area. On Dec. 8, the ministry is partnering with the city of Somerset to transform the Somerset High School football field into a “winter wonderland” for more than 1,000 kids and teenagers from Somerset, Devine, Lytle, Poteet and Von Ormy. Donations will also help the ministry distribute clothing and shoes and provide care services for senior citizens in the region.
Westside. Agora will be hosting its annual Christmas on Campus, in which the ministry partners with local schools to provide toys to each student. Proceeds will also benefit the ministry’s Christmas Family Adoptions, where volunteers can be paired to present an entire family with presents.
Southside/Eastside. On Dec. 8, the Victory Outreach Twilight Treasures Christmas Rally will be held to reach and minister to women of the night and their families. In conjunction with the church’s ministry, Genevieve’s Purses, the event will distribute feminine products, toys and a turkey dinner. Donations will help the ongoing efforts to distribute purses containing basic necessities to the homeless, and help these women transition off the streets.
HIS Bridge Builders
Westside. On Dec. 19, the ministry’s San Antonio Christmas Block Party will share the Gospel, and provide gifts, food, clothes, medical services, and games and activities to more than 200 children.
CAM Christmas Shop
The Christian Assistance Ministry Toy Drive will support our Christmas Store, which will provide an emergency, FREE shopping experience for families facing a serious financial crisis. Join us in sharing the joy of the season and providing an incredible
Christmas for more than 800 children by donating new toys or hosting a toy drive at your home, work, or church! Donations requested by Dec. 8.
A big thank you to these ministries for being the hands and feet of Jesus. And thank you in advance for helping to bring the meaning of Christmas to so many in our community! Our Goal is to raise $40,000. How you can help: Give once and help eight ministries! Multiply your financial giving by donating through the San Antonio Beacon at www.sabeacon.com. All donations will be distributed evenly among the eight featured ministries.
Our Goal is to raise $40,000
Because these ministries are preparing now for these outreach efforts, please send your donation no later than Friday, Nov. 23, 2018.
Thank you for your generosity!
Merry Christmas To You & Yours!
Go to: saBeacon.com/ChristmasGifts to Multiply Your Gift Today!
Be a Light
Join Together and Give. Got a Church Group, Sunday School Class, or even a Business? Collect donations and give as a church, business or other organization. Consider a Personal or Family Gift. Pray about what God would have you or your family do this Christmas to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Volunteer. Many of these events need help before, during and after with a variety of tasks and responsibilities. Please contact the ministry directly to see how you can help.
The Beacon Citywide Christmas Giving Opportunity www.sabeacon.com 210-316-8260 email@example.com. All gifts will go to our non-profit arm, Transformation, and are tax-deductible.
DOCUmation provides IT, print and software solutions to businesses and nonprofits throughout Texas. As a company that values character, community and customer, o ur purpose is to provide service that actually serves, not just us, but our community. We believe that giving back is not only what we’re called to do, but it is also what we are able to do. It creates a ripple that can reach places you never thought possible. Every time we partner with a nonprofit or organization, we uphold our commitment to leave our community better than when we started. Each year, DOCUmation proudly supports nonprofits throughout our community. When you partner with us, you support them too.
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Source: 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates