By Stephany Eley
Volunteerism is the heartbeat of Christian Care Ministry. It is a natural extension of our mission to share one another’s burdens. With the current state of social distancing and area-wide lockdowns, it’s difficult to think of how one can continue to volunteer his or her time in impactful ways.
As we celebrate National Volunteerism Month in April, we want to highlight not only the ways our ministry has been serving in and around our communities, but also how we might all get creative to continue service to others during this tumultuous time.
Since July 1, 2019, Christian Care Ministry’s employees have donated more than 1,700 volunteer hours in their local communities. CCM is committed to promoting volunteerism by allowing each employee to use up to 24 hours a year of paid release time to volunteer for missions or at area non-profits.
Some of our team members volunteer every month for a specific non-profit organization such as Audra Garrison from our Colorado Springs office. Every Thursday Audra, who serves in Member Services, volunteers at StableStrides, which provides horse therapy for individuals with disabilities and mental health challenges. Stacey Fonville, from our Melbourne, FL Facilities team, regularly volunteers at Daily Bread, a local soup kitchen, helping with food prep for the daily lunch provided to clients (he also has been drafted to provide security).
Other team members use their volunteer hours to serve at their children’s schools or to chaperone field trips. Rebecca Barrack, from our Communications team, read to her daughter’s class and helped them make Christmas ornaments, and Debbie Ryan, also a Communications team member, recently assisted behind the scenes at her son’s school play.
Numerous employees scheduled mission trips to serve in Jamaica; Mexico; Salem, Massachusetts; and the Yakama Reservation in Washington State to mention a few. Four separate groups ministered with Samaritan’s Purse Ministries, helping with the restoration efforts in Mexico Beach, FL after Hurricane Michael. Employees also used hours to assist with Bible schools over the summer and church conferences throughout the year.
Not only are our team members offered paid release time to volunteer during the year, but CCM also sponsors an annual Day of Sharing event the first Saturday in October. Last October, more than 50% of our employees served 21 non-profit organizations in Colorado Springs, Brevard County Florida, and Illinois.
Some activities included a beach clean-up, organizing thrift stores, painting a house, cleaning, picking up trash, packing weekend meal packages for children, washing cars and trucks, making care packages, helping build a home, and some team members in Colorado Springs supported COSILoveYou.
In this season of social distancing we may not have the option of serving our local non-profits in the ways we’re used to, but that doesn’t mean we can’t volunteer. Are there any administrative tasks you could help a non-profit with from your home? Look around your neighborhood. Are there widows or shut-ins who need help? Could you offer to pick up groceries or medicine for them? Do you know someone who has lost a job because of this crisis? Could you send a gift card or the ingredients for a meal to help tide them over?
Pray for your neighbors. Ask for God’s protection and intercede for every family on your street. We know that “The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective,” James 5:16. Be creative as we celebrate National Volunteer month. Ask God to show you how to serve your neighbors.
1 Peter 4: 10-11 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”