Lots of goodwill people are looking for ways to serve.
Sometimes it just takes a small number of visionary leaders, along with adequate available resources, and people will jump in remarkable numbers to become effective conduits of service.
For the fourth year in a row, employees of Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas chose to give up their “free” Thanksgiving morning to make a difference.
Seventy souls volunteered to provide overflowing sack lunches for the marginalized in our community. Some brought their children to encourage them in learning by doing on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
The sacks contained hot turkey-and-cheese sandwiches with all the fixings. Other items included fruit, chips, bottled water, desserts, a New Testament and a personal note of affirmation and hope.
More than 500 overflowing sacks found their way into the hands of people with meager resources and little hope.
Another group of Baylor Scott & White employees heard about the event and requested the chance to join in with blankets.
More than 100 new blankets are now wrapped around the shoulders of folks who are marginalized in this world, but never in the eyes of God.
This focused event is quite popular among our employees each year.
This year, an electronic alert was sent to the previous year’s volunteers, inviting them to consider volunteering again. Within two hours of sending that invitation, more than 45 of the “veterans” had already positively responded.
In looking ahead to the 2017 Thanksgiving season, we are projecting to go beyond sack lunches.
We are looking to collaborate with area churches by providing volunteers armed with caulk guns.
They will spend Saturday morning applying fresh caulk to old windows, blocking the cold winter air as well as the heat of summer in some modest homes.
We hope that this caring action will plant a message of hope that will strategically endure for a number of years.
Each year we’ve found that volunteers are hungry for substantially creative opportunities to express their faith. This is true not only in north Texas but across the state and nation.
Spirited leadership along with the right resources can catalyze volunteers to tackle points of woeful distress and heartache.
These efforts come alongside some other Baylor volunteers who provide toenail care and hygienic foot washing for the elderly and unfortunate on an ongoing basis.
Foot washing? I think that rings a bell. I’m betting you hear it right now.
Don Sewell, a former seminary professor and missions administrator, is director of Faith in Action Initiatives at Baylor Scott and White Health.
Editor’s note: Sewell was EthicsDaily.com’s 2014 Baptist of the Year.