Tag Archives: Christmas

Homeless for the Holidays

by Dr. Chad Audi

The holiday season is here once again. As families gather to share meals, gifts and holiday cheer, we all need to remember the people who have no one and nowhere to go. For them, the holidays are just another day. Another day struggling to survive. And another day wondering where their next meal will come from.

For the homeless, the holidays are a lonely time. Most don’t want to be on the streets. They ended up there through unfortunate circumstances or by making wrong decisions. However, they long to return to a home and job, and they want to be reunited with their families. But it can be difficult to gather the strength and confidence to seek help to turn around their lives. This undertaking is too monumental to achieve alone.

Through the kindness and generosity of our donors and supporters, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) is able to give help and hope to the hungry, hurting and homeless during the holiday season and year round.

We’re particularly happy that we could make the holidays brighter for a homeless Detroit couple who had turned their four children over to Child Protective Services, rather than subject them to a cold existence of living and sleeping in their car. One child suffers from severe asthma; another is autistic.

DRMM is providing the family with a new home — rent-free, furnished and stocked with food for the holidays. Based on their new housing situation, I reached out to the courts to request that a hearing be held in time to return custody of the children to the parents prior to Christmas. You can read the full story by clicking here.

As you celebrate this joyous Christmas season, think about those who don’t have a roof over their heads. Say a prayer for them and recognize the healing power of “giving” on Christmas Day.

Dr. Chad Audi

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A Season of Thanks and Giving

by Dr. Chad Audi

What are you the most thankful for during this season of giving? Is it a roof over your head? Or family and friends who love you? Or perhaps you’re thankful for being healthy and able to make a good living.

During this holiday season, we all should be appreciative of our blessings. So many people are barely making it, and many are on the streets with nowhere to live.

Over the past few years, there has been an increased demand for our services at Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM). This can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including the shaky economy, job layoffs, low wages, medical setbacks, and people turning to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping.

In addition, an early cold snap here in Michigan, and across the country, led to DRMM’s shelters being filled way beyond capacity for several days. We brought out extra cots for the men, women and children who came to our door to escape the unseasonably frigid temperatures.

Although we’ve had an increased stream of clients, we are thankful to God and to our supporters for helping us provide for those in need. Because of our donors’ generosity, DRMM is able to feed thousands of people on Thanksgiving and Christmas. They receive hearty, holiday meals. Plus, we are able to provide hundreds of less fortunate children with toys and gifts to make their holidays happier. We make sure they can celebrate like everybody else.

DRMM counts on the generosity and prayers of others to support us in many ways. Whether it’s donating money or items, providing in-kind services or volunteering, everybody can make a difference and help those who need it most.

Make giving a part of your life, not just during the holidays, but all of the time.
Blessed are the givers, and grateful are the receivers.
“He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.”  (Proverbs 22: 9 KJV)

Dr. Chad Audi

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Giving Thanks This Holiday Season

by Dr. Chad Audi

The popular holiday song, Give Love on Christmas Day, encourages people to “give more than just presents from a store” on Christmas. The lyrics state “No greater gift is there than love.”

There is something else that also makes a great gift during the holiday season: Gratitude. Express your gratitude for good health, having a boss who appreciates your work, getting the support of your family and friends, or having a comfortable place to call home. We all need to bless each other with expressions of thankfulness. Tell people what you are thankful for and why. In return you will receive a renewed appreciation for your life, become energized, and build stronger relationships.

Here’s a story that explains why verbal expressions of thanks are so important, not only at Christmas and Thanksgiving, but throughout the year.

During the annual Thanksgiving service, the congregation at a church became confused as they followed along in their bulletins. According to the order of service, the next items were: “Thanksgiving Offering and Presentation of Scripture.” The church members and visitors had just finished going up to the podium one-by-one to share what they were thankful for this holiday season. Their speeches were heartfelt and emotional — filled with stories of recovering from illnesses, spending many beautiful years with loved ones who had recently gone to be with the Lord, and experiencing kind gestures from relatives and friends. They talked about how each passing year helped them see more clearly the thousands of ways the Lord had shown His love for them.

Now, the speaker had taken the podium for the presentation of the Scripture. The congregation was perplexed. What happened to the collection of the offering? Surely, the pastor had not overlooked it, they thought. While they listened to the speaker, the congregation set their offerings aside for safekeeping. However, the service ended and still no offering was collected. Afterwards, many walked over to the pastor and told him, “You forgot to let us give the offering. Here . . . ”

The pastor quickly said, “No, no. It’s all right. I’m happy to take your donations, because we surely need the funds. But, we did take the offering this morning. Don’t you remember? You stood and told God what you were thankful for. That is the offering He wanted from you today!” The church members and visitors smiled; the pastor had gotten his point over in a way they would never forget.

What is your offering today? What are you grateful for? As the pastor in this story acknowledged, it is fine to show your appreciation for people or institutions by giving material items such as money or gifts. But the Lord wants to hear a verbal expression of thanks. That’s also what our family members, co-workers, neighbors, public servants and others need to hear when they do something that you appreciate.

Bless the people who blessed you by verbally expressing your gratitude for their kind actions. It may be the best offering — and best present — that you can give this holiday season.

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Homeless for the Holidays

By Dr. Chad Audi

Now that Halloween has passed, many people are getting into a “holiday state of mind.” Christmas lights and decorations are already erected in some neighborhoods and retail stores have their holiday merchandise on display. You may be starting to plan your holiday meals and parties. And you may be starting to panic, realizing we only have a few weeks before Thanksgiving arrives and less than two months until Christmas.

Time is also running out for agencies like mine — the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) — that desperately need donations and resources to make the holidays brighter for the homeless and disadvantaged. Can you believe that we will serve more than 300,000 hearty meals this season to people in the Detroit area? When you multiply that number by all of the rescue missions, shelters and soup kitchens across the country, you get an astounding number of meals that are prepared for the nation’s needy during the holidays. And we all need your support and generosity.

Those in need could be your neighbors. They could be your relatives. And they could be your colleagues and friends. Hunger and homelessness know no boundaries. Anyone can be impacted by a bad economy, unemployment, home foreclosures, and broken marriages.

As you go about planning your holiday celebrations over the coming weeks, please keep these individuals and families in your thoughts and prayers. Holidays are a lonely time for the homeless and hopeless. That’s why DRMM and other agencies do whatever it takes to give them great Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and a home for the holidays.

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Making the Holidays Brighter

By Dr. Chad Audi

As President/CEO of the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), it was my pleasure to host our annual holiday party recently for hundreds of disadvantaged children and adults. It made my day to see the smiles on the faces of the kids and to hear the sincere gratitude from the grown-ups.

The holiday gathering gave everyone an opportunity to forget about the struggling economy and to embrace the joy, love and caring of the season. Santa Claus was there to hear the wishes of the children. Needy families received a nutritious, hearty meal. Kids screamed with joy as they opened gifts donated by our generous friends in the community.

For the thousands of children across the country who are homeless or poor, the holidays can be a lonely, unhappy time of the year. They feel sad about not having what other children have. There is no joy in their hearts and no hope for the New Year.

Throughout the year, adults and children come through DRMM’s doors asking for a helping hand. Our staff and volunteers provide them with food, shelter, clothing, education, counseling and spiritual nourishment so that they regain hope for the future. But at this time of the year, it’s even more important to make sure that everyone experiences the magic of the holidays. Especially the children. Every child deserves a Christmas filled with giving and love. That’s what the holidays are all about.

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