An ongoing appeal!
As part of our Harvest Thanksgiving, we have always chosen from a wide range of charity appeals and our Harvest focus has recently included collecting money for Christian Aid, or Send-A-Cow, or Water Aid, or Farm Africa, or the Cheshire Agricultural Chaplaincy. For the 2012 Harvest Appeal we started working in co-operation with our companion churches in Bollington to gather together non-perishable food items under the umbrella of “Hampers of Hope”. This is part of the North-East Cheshire Food-bank, a voluntary organisation which provides emergency food parcels for local families who find themselves in critical need of provisions, often not knowing where their family’s next meal is coming from. You may be thinking that such a situation surely doesn’t arise here on our doorstep in Bollington and Kerridge! But sadly our present economic climate has indeed brought what we often think of as solely “Third World” desperation much closer to home.
The volunteers at Hampers of Hope work in partnership with frontline care professionals to identify people in need. The recipients of the emergency hampers (which aim to include a minimum of three days’ worth of non-perishable foodstuffs) may well be adept at keeping their plight hidden from their neighbours, often feeling shocked that this unexpected crisis situation could somehow have happened to them, when in normal circumstances they have been able to cope alright in the past. Hampers of Hope works with all the recipients in confidence, respecting their privacy, but providing a vital lifeline at a time of particular need.
Bollington Life Church acts as a Collection and Distribution Point for Hampers of Hope in our immediate locality. On Sunday 7 October 2012, members of all the Christian Churches in Bollington came together for a joint Harvest Service at 3.00pm in the Church at Hawthorn Road. We brought along to this service a variety of non-perishable foodstuffs to add to the Hampers of Hope store cupboards.
But this help is needed as an ongoing support throughout the years. We are still collecting for Hampers of Hope at the back of church (look out for the big red bin). Why not go shopping tomorrow at your favourite supermarket and take advantage of any BOGOF offers on some of the following products? These include:
milk (UHT or powdered); sugar (500g); long-life fruit juice; fruit squash; soup; pasta sauces; tinned sponge pudding; tinned tomatoes; cereals; tinned rice pudding; tea bags; instant coffee; rice; pasta; instant mashed potato; tinned meat or fish; tinned fruit; jam; biscuits; snack bars.
Just think what you yourself would welcome as a life-saving gift of staple foods if you were to find yourself in a similarly desperate situation. Please take the trouble to put those extras into your own shopping trolley when the opportunity arises and bring them to St Oswald’s on Sundays from now on.