Red Cross, Grace Point spearheading upcoming safety effort
GALION — Area churches are coming together to help those in need — locally and globally — in November with the direction of Grace Point Church.
With a large schedule of serving opportunities planned leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, Grace Point is calling the agenda a “Thanks GIVING Explosion”.
The first event, “Sound the Alarm,“ is being planned in conjunction with the Red Cross and the Galion Fire Department. Volunteers from numerous Galion churches including St Paul United Methodist Church and Wesley Chapel will meet in the Christian Life Center at Grace Point Church on Saturday, Nov. 4t at 9 a.m. After a quick breakfast, volunteers will be divided into teams of three and will receive training from members of the Red Cross before being sent into assigned Galion neighborhoods to distribute and install smoke detectors in homes free of charge.
“This is a community effort for all of Galion,” said Grace Point pastor Paul Walter, and more volunteers are needed.
The plan is to deploy 30 groups of three all over Galion in order to reach as many homes and families as possible.
Call Grace Point Church for more information.
While there are numerous service opportunities scheduled at Grace Point in November, there are two events that are a staple for the church every year.
Operation Christmas Child is a mission of Samaritan’s Purse International Relief.
The program concept is simple: Start with an average size shoe box and fill it with items for a child living in a poverty stricken or Third World country.
Suggested items for packing include a stuffed animal, deflated soccer ball, clothing, or certain hygiene items including toothbrushes. Items such as candy, toothpaste, medicine, or liquids are not accepted.
Galion Grace Point is a collection/drop-off location annually for this ministry. While anyone is welcome to supply a filled shoe box, the church also has 300 pre-decorated boxes that can be picked up in their lobby or donations can be dropped off during office hours.
On Saturday, Nov. 12 Grace Point will have its annual packing party at 6 p.m.
Anyone who packs a box for Operation Christmas Child may also register their box online for tracking purposes. You will then be able to see where your donation is headed to help a child in need who most likely would not have a holiday experience otherwise.
Also, the 30 Hour Famine is in its 10th year at Galion Grace Point. It involves church youth and has grown by leaps an bounds . Approximately 20 kids participated the first year, and as of last year the attendance totalled 68.
Participants take pledges to fight hunger in Third World nations while they themselves go without food for 30 hours. The only calories they consume in those hours will be from either fruit juice, water, or chewing gum.
Grace Point does this event annually in the days leading up to Thanksgiving as a lock-in in their Christian Life Center.
For the first night of the event, the kids are shut in the gymnasium of the CLC with various activities and games to keep them busy. They spend that night sleeping on the gym floor.
The following morning, students participate in various service projects including leaf raking, and community clean up.
The end of the 30 hours is marked by a closing time of worship, reflection, and communion. Before the youth are dismissed for home, they break their fasting with a variety of food samples from a typical Third World meal.
“Surprisingly, this is probably our biggest and most anticipated youth event all year,” said youth pastor Jeanie Rinehart.
Other events on the Grace Point Thanks GIVING Explosion include leaf raking for local senior citizens, hat making for chemotherapy patients, food distribution for needy families, and Thanksgiving Day Meal delivery for those in need, shut-in, or alone.
Anyone interested in signing up to participate or receive help may contact Galion Grace Point Church at 419-468-9648.