Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who donated towards our CIA Christmas needs, we were able to make gift bags for all of our clients! Thank you also to those who participated in Adopt-a-Family!

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Ralph Update

Hello everyone,

I wanted to let you all know that we not only met but exceeded the amount that Ralph needed for his electric. He is so grateful and states that “this blessing could not have come at a better time”. So, thank you all for your contributions and for making this possible!

Ralph

Hello everyone,

This week I am writing to tell you about a new client CIA has received. Ralph is a 73 year old veteran. He lives alone and is very conscientious about how he spends his money. Ralph is currently living on his Social Security Income and is in the process of applying for a pension as a supplemental income to his SSI.  He has also had assistance from the VA.

Ralph is struggling to pay all of his bills every month, one of which his electrical bill is extremely necessary as he has a few medical issues that require at home equipment that need electricity.   While he has been going through the process to get this extra pension his electric bills have backed up and though he is making head way on paying them, he has been unable to get ahead.  Ameren has agreed to extend the due date on the outstanding balance.  We would like to help him take care of the balance so he is not worrying about it over the Christmas season and he can start fresh in the New Year.  The total is $504.33, please help us make his Christmas a little brighter!

If you’d like to donate, please click the link below, or copy and paste it into your browser, and mark “Christ in Action” in the memo!

Follow the prompts to log in or donate anonymously.  Enter the amount of your gift in NEXT – Church Ministry Fund and under “include a message”, type “Christ in Action”.

https://stjohn.securegive.com/SG/WebOnline/Home/Index?WO=stjohn

 

 

It’s that time of year…!

Hello everyone,

With the holidays coming up, we would like to keep you all informed about how Christ in Action is serving our families this Christmas. In the past, we have facilitated Adopt-a-Family, we have given gift cards, gift baskets, and more. Our clients have been most appreciative of receiving gift cards to shop for their own children.  For December 2018, we are going to continue this act of love by purchasing gift cards and providing holiday gift baskets for our clients.

This tends to provide a sense of “normalcy” in regards to finances when parents can shop for their own children for Christmas. It restores a feeling of independence and accomplishment in parents by being able to provide for their family in such a personal manner. We would also like to provide our CIA parents with their own gift-card so they are able to treat themselves over the holidays. If you are interested in participating, please contact mbranch@stjstl.net.

By Christ in Action providing gift baskets filled with “household items”, parents can worry less about spending their money on day-to-day needs and enjoy shopping for their children. Items we need to collect for the gift baskets include; paper towels, trash bags, batteries, dish soap, hand soap, Kleenex, dish scrub brushes, holiday candles, dish detergent, loofahs, dishtowels, and whatever else you may run out of during the holidays! We would love to accept any heartfelt Christmas cards from you to our clients in addition to donated items. If you donate after December 5th, please contact Mandy at mbranch@stjstl.net to see what we still need before you shop!

All purchased items for the gift baskets can be turned into the St. John Ministry Center Lobby reception desk, marked “Christ in Action” beginning Wednesday November 21st through Monday December 17th.

If you would like to participate in Adopt-a-Family, please contact Mandy at mbranch@stjstl.net with that information and we will contact you if and when a request arises.

Dawn’s Story

I wanted to share a little bit of background information on a 56 year old client we met with recently & a short paragraph at the bottom about what we did to help her.

Dawn’s adoptive parents gave her an amazing life and were her entire support system. She was diagnosed with hydrocephalus as a baby and therefore sustained some brain damage that caused her a long-term disability. Dawn was able to finish high school with special needs programming and received her  diploma.  She lived with her parents until her mother passed away in 2010 and her father moved to Florida.

Dawn witnessed her mother’s death in 2010 while at her mother’s dialysis appointment. It was both tragic and very traumatic for Dawn who recalls screaming for the staff to help, but that they all seemed uninterested in her urgency.  Ultimately her mother passed away from the incident.  Dawn has been harboring some resentment towards her remaining brother as he made the decision to end life support. Her mother did gift her their house before she passed away, so she has been able to live there for years with no payment. Dawn still grieves her mother to the point of tears almost every day, along with her brother who died in a car accident when Dawn was only 13.

Dawn recently chose to contact her biological siblings (she is 1 of 8 children). She shared that it was a mistake saying “I wish I had never met them, I want nothing to do with those people”.  Dawn had positive hopes for what her biological family would be like and was crushed when she discovered they weren’t who she thought they would be.

Today, Dawn’s only income is disability. She has struggled with keeping her bill payments spread out where they don’t leave her short of money all at one time.  After extensive conversations with Dawn, we came to a conclusion that she tends to be too trusting of people who are looking to take advantage of her financially. Dawn is setting up an appointment with a financial coach this month to help educate her on how to protect herself from financial crimes and manage her money. Additionally, we referred her to a grief counselor and support group. Dawn had a need for truck repairs which we were able to assist with. Our CIA alert team was able to raise $820 to cover the costs for Dawn! We continue to work with Dawn to check in on her progress.

Anderson Family

This week Christ in Action (CIA) was able to help out a family who was referred to us by a member of St. John. The Anderson family is adopting their two year-old niece (Lauren) with developmental disabilities and they’re currently fundraising for her physical therapy, speech therapy, and day care costs. Awhile back, Mr. Anderson’s brother passed away after a long battle with mental health struggles. His wife was unable to care for her daughter as she had some ongoing chemical dependency struggles herself. Mr. & Mrs. Anderson didn’t want to see their young niece potentially end up in foster care, and they stated that St. John has encouraged them spiritually to “just do”. Even though they have several children of their own, the Anderson’s decided to take bold action for Lauren and pursue an adoption.

With the financial assistance of many St. John members who have signed up to receive email alerts about scenarios like this one, Christ in Action was able to send the Anderson family a check to assist with the cost of the adoption paperwork. St. John members on the CIA “alert list” quickly matched what Christ in Action was willing to donate, doubling the amount we were able to send the Anderson’s. We are so thankful for everyone’s participation in giving Lauren a brighter future!

Journey to Wholeness

February 2nd, 2018

Journey to Wholeness event:

David Jameson (Director of Community Engagement) and Mandy Branch (Christ in Action Coordinator) spoke about the grant we received, the changes we have made over the last year, and what ideal client outcomes we hope for in the future.

One advocate spoke about a moving experience he had working with a client during his time volunteering for Christ in Action. He spoke about how this impacted his faith and how he now sees situations through a new lens.

Two of our Christ in Action clients came to speak with our guests to “tell their story” and to offer insight as to what services they received through CIA. They also spoke about the barriers they’ve encountered and how they overcome those boundaries daily.

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J2W Invite pic