By Dr. Stephany Eley
Christian Care Ministry, which facilitates the Medi-Share program, reached a milestone in 2018 of serving its members for 25 years. CCM leadership and its Board of Directors wanted to celebrate the milestone and considered a number of possibilities. Traditionally, national organizations have hosted splashy 25th Anniversary dinners or events inviting dignitaries to commemorate the milestone. Christian Care Ministry went in a different direction.
Because the hallmark of the ministry is sharing, CCM decided to host a national Day of Sharing event inviting employees, members, and local communities to share their time and talents with area non-profit organizations. The inaugural Day of Sharing was a tremendous success with more than 40% of CCM’s employees in Melbourne, Colorado Springs, and Illinois participating. The positive response by local communities and the employees was so encouraging that it became a yearly event.
The Second Annual Day of Sharing was an even bigger success with 434 total volunteers across the three locations representing more than 46% of CCM’s employees and their families. Christian Care Ministry served 28 local non-profit organizations in Melbourne, Colorado Springs, and Illinois.
As previously mentioned, the plan was for Day of Sharing to be an annual event, but then we found our country and the world in the midst of a pandemic. Despite the pandemic, CCM committed to move forward with plans for the Third Annual Day of Sharing.
Adjustments were made to adhere to recommended safety precautions. CCM provided masks to all volunteers, and sent hand sanitizer to each location. The majority of volunteer opportunities were outside and those inside had a limited number of volunteers to provide for social distancing.
In spite of the limitations, the Day of Sharing 2020 was a resounding success! More than 50% of CCM’s employees from its Melbourne, Florida location participated, the highest turnout ever despite the challenges. Florida service opportunities were expanded this year with a sizable group volunteering at Ronald McDonald House in Orlando, one serving Feeding Tampa Bay, and a team member in Quincy, Florida working with a group of American Girls.
Children’s Hunger Project, a favorite volunteer location, had a strict limit of 30 volunteers. Even with the reduced numbers, CCM volunteers packed 1490 weekend meals for local children. Another favorite, the Brevard Zoo, had volunteers make oyster gabions for their “Restore Our Shores” program. Their goal was to construct 95 gabions and they knocked it out of the park, completing a total of 146!
Colorado Springs employees partnered with CityServe’s annual event, COSILoveYou! and sent volunteers to 14 locations throughout the city. Team members built bunk beds for families, worked with a horse therapy organization, cleaned up trash around Pikes Peak and an area creek, prayed over the city, and made handmade cards for those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
CCM employees serve their local communities year round as part of the ministry’s formalized volunteer program. Employees receive up to three days off each year for volunteer service and many use this time to serve local churches, ministries, and other community organizations. Last year CCM employees donated more than 4,100 hours in their local communities.
Christian Care Ministry has a legacy of service: service to Medi-Share members, service to team members, and service to its communities. Day of Sharing is an integral part of that legacy and even a pandemic could not thwart the ministry’s efforts to serve.
We’d love to hear how you’ve been able to serve in your own communities during this time. Share your experiences in the comments!