Well, we are in our last month of the 50 weeks of giving campaign. That’s right – next month I turn 50. To honor of my last month in my 40’s, we will be celebrating Marion Cares: an organization that, like the others featured this year, is near and dear to my heart.
I not only serve on the board of directors as treasurer, but I have personally been involved with Marion Cares for the past few years. Each year, my family and I volunteer during their seasonal drives. We love shopping for school supplies and handing out the backpacks, donating for the trunk-or-treat event, shopping for Christmas gifts for families, and serving at the Thanksgiving meal. It is built into our family tradition and our kids – yes, even the grown ones – look forward to it each year. It is something we are proudly passing on to our grandson and godson. Giving back and helping others is a real blessing. Let me tell you all about Marion Cares so you, too can be part of this great organization.
The mission of Marion Cares is to share Christ’s love with the families in our community. We do that through serving and showing them the love of Christ. We provide families with advocacy, connections, and services to meet their basic needs. Ultimately, we strive to become a community connector and collaborator that brings families in need together with the resources that are needed. I say “we” only because I am proud to be on the board. Most of this work is done and coordinated by Laura and Kelly, with the assistance of our wonderful staff and volunteers.
We all have a big heart to serve and we want to in particular serve the children, families and community of Marion, Iowa.
The Kid’s Programming aims to give positive relationships and empowering opportunities to all kids living in Marion, especially those who face socioeconomic barriers. We have after school and summer activities that include Bible Study, Homework Help, and Summer Camps. We bring the programming to the kids in the neighborhoods near where they live to help meet them where they are.
The Family Assistance Project is a safety net for the disadvantaged. We are dedicated to connecting families with resources to address their housing, health, and employment needs. We provide care coordination to navigate the network of agencies and services in our area. We also have funds for support when families are on the brink of homelessness or students’ learning is impeded by lack of necessities.
The Seasonal Drives that I mentioned above are centered around fulfilling specific needs throughout the year. They provide essentials like backpacks, winter clothing, and Christmas gifts to hundreds of kids in need who live in Marion.
These programs have evolved and pivoted to meet the needs now amplified due to the pandemic and derecho. We have had teams of people on the ground in our neighborhoods helping in any way we can.
Marion Cares believes in supporting the people in our community – it was and is who we are – long before Covid and all that 2020 has presented us with, and with your generous help, it will continue long after.
For more information about Marion Cares visit their website or Facebook page.
Click here to donate to Marion Cares . All donations are used for the programs mentioned above. Your gifts will enable us to continue to meet the needs of our neighbors.
Volunteer opportunities – we have several volunteer opportunities. Right now we are doing wellness checks on the neighborhoods we serve. We will be assisting them with assessing their recovery needs. Contact Kelly directly to find the current volunteer needs.
When we were planning out this year and the campaign, we never thought we would have encountered such challenges. This year has also presented itself with some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Thank you for being part of it. As we asked in our previous give back months, we ask that you help us amplify their voice. You can do this by liking their page and following them on social. You can volunteer or donate. No gift is too small. Lastly, you can join us in prayer – there are so many hurting right now.
If you are in need of assistance, please reach out. This has been a challenging year, but together we are better.
With Love and admiration,
Your Epiphany Spark Team Leader
P.S. Thanks for being Sparking Awesome!