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April 2011
By: Jerry Thacker

As the recession grinds on, people are learning to do more with less, re-centering their lives upon the important concepts of God and family, and figuring out what they can and can't do without.

As I write this article, my basement is half-full of bags of clothing and other household items that are awaiting a special day that happens in the spring and fall at our church. It's called Freebay, and it's a time when members of the community from all social strata are invited to come by, take whatever goods or clothing they can use (no commercial organizations like thrift shops allowed), and say hello. The event has grown over the past few years to become huge. Of course, those who come by are given a plastic bag with some gospel literature in it, invited to come to church, and provided with refreshments. It's just another way to manifest Christ to those in need. Many of the folks we see are single parents looking to provide for themselves and their children. At the end of the day, the remaining goods and clothing that are in fine shape are hauled away by the local city mission. The rest goes in the trash or the recycling bins.

Perhaps your center could use this idea to help you meet folks you wouldn't otherwise see. It also could be a great way to cement a relationship with the churches in your area that could either allow you to use their space for the event or that could encourage their members to contribute or come by and take some things they really need. Try it. You may like the results.

Jerry Thacker, Publisher

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