COVID 19 has had a major impact on everybody all over the globe, sadly not just due to lives lost, but also due to job losses and reductions in salaries. Many families have been struggling to pay bills and put food on their tables. The Wolverhampton churches have a successful track record providing food via food banks and the Happy Mondays Soup Kitchen.
Esther Douglas and I run the Happy Mondays Soup Kitchen based at Wolverhampton Central Church and we approached Joan Amore from the Adventist Food Bank, based at Great Brickkiln Street Church, to look at how we could bring some Christmas happiness into the homes of families across Wolverhampton. We also knew that COVID has had a huge impact on the emotional wellbeing of families and looked at how we could bring families together.
The Big Family Night In was an initiative to place a board game in every food parcel which the Adventist Food Bank delivers. The food bank works in partnership with Wolverhampton City Council to deliver food parcels to our most in-need families. This gave us the opportunity to reach a wide number of families from differing backgrounds. We were then approached by Charmaine Putzgruber, Wolverhampton Central Children’s Ministries leader, who also asked to get involved.
Church members from Wolverhampton, Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester, and London donated finances and we were also blessed by a donation from the NEC. Parents within the junior Sabbath School also donated to their own fundraising scheme to allow them to put small gifts into the parcels. Their fundraising was coupled with their weekly ‘Project Lockdown’ children’s devotional which had a daily focus on helping others.
The kind donations given allowed us to donate 102 board games to the most in-need families at Christmas. We also added small pamphlets and included a stay-in-touch card which provided each family with details of our local pastor, the Pendeford church prayer line, and details of our social media platforms.
I would like to take his opportunity to thank everyone who supported the Big Family Night In. Through service, we give others the things they lack and we find meaning and fulfillment in our own lives.