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Feeding the Homeless

Every year the night before Thanksgiving,

our children and youth, along with their friends and some parents, prepare thanksgiving meals for people who are less fortunate. The program is called Turkey Lockin, and it has been one of the highlights of youth ministry. This past year, after the Lockin, a survey was taken regarding the kinds of programs the youth like. One of the findings of the survey is that our youth love programs that are fun filled and service oriented. It is such a heart warming finding indeed. In any case, in line with the finding, the Youth Ministry Council planned a program in the Turkey Lockin pattern that incorporates the elements of fun and service. It was the program of feeding homeless people in Oakland and Berkeley area, while preparing the meal staying at the church the night before. In addition to preparing a meal and distributing it, the plan was to give a care package as well.
Thirteen youth came together on January 27th, Saturday, to be a part of the program. Our goal was to prepare 48 meals and put together the same number of care packages. Insofar as the meal is concerned, the youth prepared Teriyaki chicken, Mac and Cheese, boiled vegetables, and chocolate chip cookies (from scratch!). The care package included a tarp, a toothbrush, a travel-sized toothpaste, a pair of socks, and a woolen hat. Of these items in the care package, we only bought the tarps; the rest were donations. Rev. MaAn donated 42 hats and Flora Ninomiya donated the remaining 6 hats to help us reach the goal. Mike Williams’ Dentist Dr. Kobayashi donated the toothbrushes and toothpastes. The socks were your donations as a part of the missions’ projects.

On Sunday morning the meals were packed and four teams went to deliver the packages under the 880 Freeway near downtown Oakland and at Greyhound bus station on San Pablo, Oakland. Before going to the delivery, the youth were gathered in the sanctuary for a prayer and blessing. With the help of the parents and support from the members of the missions committee, and generous donations from many of you, we’ve had a fruitful program. It might be a small step towards making this world a better place, yet it is significant as it has the potential to instill hope for someone who might have lost it, to remind that God cares for the ones who are marginalized, and to inspire our youth to attempt greater things in the future. More importantly, no step is an insignificant step, as Mother Teresa reminds us: “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
–Minister Chai