The Search For Meaning

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In ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’, Viktor Frankl wrote that doing something to help others brings more meaning and joy to your life.

When people start helping down here at the Mission, I’ve noticed that their lives have become richer and fuller because they have taken on more meaning as they learned to selflessly give to others.

And I do notice these changes for the better daily in both our staff and volunteers.

So I think we are on the right path.

Statistics for last year show that You (our friends and neighbors in Silver City) fed 35,261 hungry souls in the soup kitchen, handed out 5,821 food boxes to families, helped 4,892 families with clothes, sheltered anywhere from 8-16 men in the cold weather shelter, 2-8 women in the Sierra House Women’s Shelter and the case worker helped 1,321 people.

But more important than the numbers are the changes in the lives of those you have helped.

Take for instance Angelica and her newborn who came to us without a place to stay soon after giving birth.  We were able to help her out by providing all of life’s necessities and thanks to a grant from the United Way were able get her an apartment of her own after a few months.

Or Franklyn who had drifted in from the deep South in the hopes of better job prospects.  He was able to afford a small place soon after arriving but with no skills and an addiction problem he was unable to secure any employment and the money soon ran out as did his lease and he found himself on our doorstep.

We were able to feed and clothe him, get him some help with his addiction and eventually secure some part-time employment and some odd jobs for him.  With this small income, he was eventually able to secure another home with a couple of other fellows and last we heard he was doing OK.

Do people who are perfectly able to get a job take advantage of our services?

Sometimes, but we try not to judge because in many (not all) cases we are able to motivate them and give them a little hope about a better life and we can move them further down their path.

But it is still a balancing act in our quest to help our neighbors, having to juggle limited resources, legalities, personalities and various belief systems.

But it is stories like those above (and these here) that truly give our lives meaning, make us better people and give us a sense of real joy.

Thank you once again, Silver City for all of the help you so graciously provide; we couldn’t do any of this without you!

Please give yourselves a pat on the back and take just a moment to reflect on the true hearts of service that beat in each and every one of you and truly give your lives some meaning and joy.

 

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5 Ways You Can Directly Help The Poor

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We spend a lot of time and resources at the Mission in our fight against hunger, cold and despair.

We are trying different ways of feeding, clothing, inspiring and educating those who come to the Mission in search of the emergency services we provide and trying to find ways to help them get back on their feet and stay there.

I was asked the other day how an individual could help improve the lives of the impoverished in our small town and have thought of a few ways that could make an impact on someone.

  1.  Educate Yourself; research the causes of poverty and find out how in many cases it is linked to addictions, lack of education, mental illness or the criminal justice system and think of ways you can get involved in solutions to the major issues that we are putting a band-aid on.
  2. Help an individual that you know needs your help; direct them to the Mission, give them some food or needed items, offer them a simple job for cash, or even just talk to them and learn their story.
  3. Become an advocate for a good cause; do you see roadblocks in society that are preventing effective change from happening?  Then try and do something about it by starting a petition, talking to your elected officials, getting your neighbors together for a discussion and educating yourself on current bills or laws.
  4. Start your own fundraiser or food drive; See a need that isn’t being met or want to lend a direct hand to an individual, family or organization?  Start your own food drive or fundraiser.
  5. Pray for those in need; I left this for last in fear that I might lose some readers, but it should have been first.  I am a firm believer in God and I do believe that if your are willing to ask/seek/knock you will be answered if you keep your eyes open.

And if you don’t have the time, inclination or resources to directly help those in need you can always drop by the Mission or one of the many other fine non-profits in our area and take a tour to see what is happening and donate some of your cash, goods or ideas (or if you have the time, we always have a need for volunteers!)

“There is no Them. There are only facets of Us.”
― John Green

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Create Your Own Fundraiser

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Can’t make it down to volunteer or donate?

Like the work that the Silver City Gospel Mission is doing?

It’s now easy and simple to create your very own fundraiser on Facebook to raise money for the Mission.

Just go to the Fundraising Page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fundraisers/ and push the raise money button to get started.

Follow the simple step-by-step directions, choose the Silver City Gospel Mission as your beneficiery and share it with your Facebook friends.

Some ideas to help you get started are:

  • I’m donating my Birthday to the Silver City Gospel Mission
  • I’m raising money for the Silver City Gospel Mission Garden
  • I’m raising money for the Sierra House Women and Children’s Shelter
  • I’m donating Christmas to the Silver City Gospel Mission
  • I’m raising money for the Gospel Mission Soup Kitchen
  • I’m raising money for the Gospel Mission Food Pantry
  • I’m raising money to help with services the Silver City Gospel Mission Case Worker provides
  • I’m raising money to help with a Men’s Cold Weather Shelter
  • I’m raising money to help purchase fresh fruits and vegetables for the Silver City Gospel Mission
  • I’m raising money to buy books for the kids at the Sierra House Women’s Shelter
  • I’m raising money for the Annual 6th St. School Christmas Party at the Silver City Gospel Mission
  • I’m raising money for the Silver City Gospel Mission Thanksgiving Dinner
  • I’m raising money for the Silver City Gospel Mission Christmas Dinner
  • I’m raising money for sleeping bags and blankets for the Silver City Gospel Mission
  • I’m raising money for socks for the Silver City Gospel Mission
  • I’m raising money for Christmas presents for the Silver City Gospel Mission
  • I’m raising money for jackets at the Silver City Gospel Mission

So if you would like to lend us a hand in a very meaningful way, please start your own fundraiser Now!

 

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Mail Carriers Food Drive Breaks All Records

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A big shout out to Larry and all of his very dedicated mail carriers and the folks who donated food during the recent Mail Carriers Food Drive.

For the 25th year in a row, letter carriers across the United States displayed concern, compassion and commitment to their postal customers—and to the communities in which they work and live—by participating in the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive, the nation’s largest one-day food collection effort.

Food was shared between various food donation agencies in Silver City including St. Francis Associates, The St. Vincent De Paul Food Pantry and the Silver City Gospel Mission, among others.

No final tally of total food collected is available yet, but the Mission received more than 2 bins of food averaging around 2 1/2 tons that will go a long way in helping us meet our mission of feeding the hungry in Silver City.

The mail carriers were really on the ball this year and Carriers stuffed bags in mailboxes throughout the city in the days leading up to the drive that served as a reminder to donate and made it easy to do so. Picking up these grocery-store sized bags filled with canned goods in addition to their regular duties really shows how much these guys care and is much appreciated.

And our community deserves a giant hand for really going overboard this year in their donations.

Thanks guys for a job well done and for your extra effort to make this food drive the success it was!

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A Letter From A Widow

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I recently received a letter from a very nice woman who is going through some tough times, that I thought I’d share with you.

This can be very discouraging work sometimes.  Many times, it seems like we are taking two steps back for every one step forward, but occasionally we do see a ray of hope.

Dear Mr. Salars;

Recently I lost my husband and best friend to cancer and am hurting in ways that are indescribable.  My days are spent working full time.  My nights are spent doing homework and taking care of two small children.  I don’t have shared duties with a spouse anymore.  Everything, including the bread-winning is now on my plate.

I just wanted to thank you for the service you provide at the Mission.  In the past I have dropped clothes off, but I never dreamed we would ever need your services.  The food we have been getting has been a Godsend and even the clothes have come in handy.

I know you probably don’t hear it very often, but our small family thanks you and your staff from the bottom of our hearts for your friendliness and help.

~ Name withheld upon request.

Now this young mother even sent in a photo so I would remember who she was and there was a sticky note attached that read “I take pictures of me smiling, but the truth is my nights are spent in tears.”

Now it is letters like this that make all of this worthwhile and attitudes like this young ladies that make me appreciate our small town and the help so many of us are able to give in so many ways.

TomorrowSaturday, May 6 – We will be participating in Give Grandly.  This is a 24 hour day of giving to support the non-profits in our area.  From 12:01 am until 11:59 pm, we will be working alongside 52 other Grant County non-profits to raise awareness – and dollars – for our individual programs.

AND – thanks to the generosity of Freeport McMoRan and the United Way of Southwest New Mexico – we have a chance to have our donations matched if we can get to their threshold! Your donation will be effectively DOUBLED!

So we are asking you to help us in our work.  Last year the Mission was able to feed 35,261 hungry souls in the soup kitchen and hand out 4,892 food boxes.  For every $1.16 you give the Mission, we are able to feed one person and for every dollar that we do receive, .91 cents goes back into helping those we serve with the remainder going to operating costs.

We are a non-profit, non-denominational Christian charity who serves anyone, without question who comes through our doors and tomorrow we are asking for your support.

How can I help?  

There are several very easy ways to give.

  1. If you want to come see my smiling face…. and make me smile bigger by handing me a check, cash or having me run your credit card, come see me at the Silver City Farmers Market in downtown Silver City between 8:30 am and 2:30 pm.
  2. Visit www.givegrandly.org and click donate and then select Silver City Gospel Mission
  3. Text to 41444 and type “grandly”   follow the prompts and select Silver City Gospel Mission

Every single dollar counts toward feeding, clothing and giving hope to your neighbor who might just need a little bit of love.

Thank you and I hope to see many of you tomorrow!

Randy Salars
Director
Silver City Gospel Mission

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