Recognizing The Need For Action
Lois Paula: The INC Giving Project encourages volunteers in countries around the globe to share their faith through acts of kindness.
Lois Paula: Welcome to the INC Giving Show. No matter where we live, we are all part of a community. And within these communities, there will always be someone in need. So recognizing the need is a vital first step to making a larger impact.
Lois Paula: Off the coast of Turkey, Syria and Lebanon sits the third largest island nation in the Mediterranean Sea–Cyprus. Government and individual efforts have been made to preserve the cultural history and natural attractions that the country has been known for. Members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) in Cyprus did their part cleaning up Karsiyaka Park, a popular place for families in the community to spend the day together.
Lois Paula: According to the European Environment Agency, cities in Cyprus have one of the lowest proportion of urban tree cover at 4 percent, making places like Karsiyaka Park worth caring for.
Brother Mark Luel Leviste: By doing so we can show our love for our fellow man and maintaining the cleanliness, taking care of the environment around us.
Lois Paula: On the other side of the hemisphere, another group of volunteers shared their support for preserving what makes their home unique, by appreciating the people who do just that. In Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) organized an event to recognize the workers at the National Museum and Art Gallery. Volunteers provided care packages filled with essential items and nonperishable food items.
National Museum and Gallery Staff Member: I should say on behalf of the National Museum and Art Gallery staff and management we are privileged to actually have you here with us today. It’s the small gifts we received today it goes a long way and I believe each and every staff of the museum was actually appreciated very much.
Lois Paula: No matter how different these places may be, acts of kindness and service continue to have the same positive effects within communities.
Lois Paula: What a wonderful story. It’s always great when we can highlight the dedication of those who aren’t commonly recognized. It’s these shared moments that help preserve the bonds we form as community members. So a special thank you to the staff members at the National Museum and Art Gallery for working hard to preserve their cultural and environmental history. And great job to the volunteers for contributing to the beauty of their communities and sharing acts of kindness at the same time. To our INC Giving volunteers in Cyprus and Papua New Guinea–thank you.
Lois Paula: Now our next story brings us to a region that was in immediate need of help after a powerful tornado left their hometown devastated. Let’s see how Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) members in surrounding communities traveled to Mayfield, Kentucky, to lend a helping hand.
Mayor Kathy O’nan: Our city was right in the direct path of an EF4 tornado that devastated for nearly 200 miles, everything in its path.
Nathan Kent: Some families have lost everything.
Lois Paula: The United States has the highest count of tornado outbreaks in the world. On December 10th, Over 60 tornadoes struck the Southeast region, devastating buildings and homes from all over the states of Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Georgia, Ohio, and Indiana. One city in particular that was heavily affected was Mayfield, Kentucky.
Nathan Kent: And the pathway took it right through the downtown of our community and so a significant fraction of our residential housing has been affected. Typically in disaster response, first-responders aren’t affected themselves and they’re able to simply go out and help. But this situation was unique that the government, in addition to our residential areas and some of our local businesses, were all affected.
Lois Paula: With the entire community struggling to find resources to recover from the storm, the volunteers from the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) from states as far north as North Dakota and as far east as West Virginia came to their aid with bulk donations of canned food and clothing. The community was also gifted with care packages containing blankets and personal hygiene supplies.
Nathan Kent: Oh, goodness. I mean, we’ve got so many people that are displaced from their homes and will be for quite a while. The rebuilding process here is going to take many months. So these goods just provide for the basic needs of our citizens.
Mayor Kathy O’nan: And that’s why it’s so important that organizations such as yours have been so generous. They won’t have to ask. We’ll be there ready to give it to them, to help them restore their lives. Thank you so much. And I want to thank from the bottom, bottom of my heart. Your gifts are beyond measure.
Lois Paula: It’s so inspiring to see that so many of the surrounding neighborhoods recognize a need and leaped selflessly into action. On top of that, it was a community outside of their own. This truly highlights how volunteering can connect us. We wish all those affected in Mayfield, Kentucky, a safe and speedy recovery. As we just saw, weather can play a big part in determining which communities are in need.
Lois Paula: For example, in the colder climates, a warm set of clothes can make all the difference. So take a look at how INC Giving volunteers in Brampton, Ontario, Canada used a milestone anniversary as an opportunity to give back to their community.
Lois Paula: In the region of Brampton, snow falls for 61.8 days for a total of 19.84 inches of snow throughout the year, with temperatures reaching an average of -8.7 degrees Celsius or 16.3 degrees Fahrenheit. To help those in the area who needed winter clothing and provide them relief from the cold temperatures and snowfall, INC Giving volunteers from Brampton, Canada organized a winter clothing drive with their local police station of Peel. Together, they were able to collect more than 100 bags of gently used winter garments to give back to those in need in their respective communities.
Lois Paula: The clothing drive was part of the 15th anniversary celebration of the local congregation of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) in Brampton. Mayor Patrick Brown came to recognize the milestone and also, to thank the INC Giving volunteers for the various community outreach activities they held throughout the pandemic.
Mayor Patrick Brown: But one of the beautiful things during this pandemic has been our faith communities have stepped up again and again. And this is an example of that, to have a winter clothing drive for the less fortunate. Trying to get everyone to show their generosity and heart is an example of the love we see displayed every day by our faith communities.
Mayor Patrick Brown: And during times of adversity, having strong faith communities that can help the community during those difficult days are so important.
Lois Paula: Presented to the INC Giving volunteers was a Certificate of Recognition for their humanitarian efforts, but also, to recognize their milestone anniversary of 15 years.
Mayor Patrick Brown: For a long time, you have been doing that in spades, in Brampton. And I want you to know the city appreciates you. Well, I just want to congratulate you on 15 years of offering spiritual guidance to the community. That is worth celebrating.
Lois Paula: Peel Police Officer, Assistant Sergeant Jennifer Horner also took the opportunity to say a few words on the joint activity held.
Jennifer Horner: So thank you very much for allowing us to join in your 15 years and it’s very telling as your congregation that to celebrate you want to get back. And our unit is very appreciative of all the donations that you will be providing. It will definitely serve many members of our community at large across not only Brampton, Mississauga but the GTA. And you will be making a difference in people’s lives and your loving care is greatly appreciated.
Lois Paula: With events like these, INC Giving volunteers and local organizations will always be here to make sure the community is filled with kindness for many more years to come. The question is, will you take action? That does it for this episode of the INC Giving show. We hope this episode has inspired you to recognize the needs in your area and to go out and make kindness contagious.
I’m Lois Paula. Remember whenever you possibly can do good to those who need it.