Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

What Are You Thankful For?

by Dr. Chad Audi

There are so many terrible things happening in our world today. The Paris terrorist attacks. The bombing of a Russian jetliner. Shootings and racist incidents on college campuses.  All of these tragedies and turmoil can make it difficult to find joy in this holiday season. But just as God makes beauty out of ashes, so should we find enjoyment in the spirit of the holiday.

Ask yourself what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving. Perhaps you’re grateful for having a good job or a roof over your head or food on the table. These are all things that we should delight in this holiday, even as incidents happening all around us suggest a civilization immersed in hatred, violence, and mistreatment.

You may have heard about the homeless man in Detroit who was lured to a fast food restaurant drive-through window by an employee who promised him a sandwich, only to throw a cup of water at him when he approached. The video of the incident went viral, causing outrage around the world.

Heartless and cruel acts such as this have no place in our society. The homeless and impoverished are entitled to dignity and respect, just like anyone else. Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we work to restore the self-esteem and confidence of our clients. Many have lived on the mean streets for several years, fighting off attackers while fighting to stay alive. Most of us can’t imagine going through what they have endured, much less surviving it. When they make it to our facilities seeking help, we show them that they deserve better.

When you sit down at your Thanksgiving meal, say a prayer that the world will become a little kinder and that one day we’ll treat each other as Jesus would have us to do.

by Dr. Chad Audi

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Bringing Awareness to Hunger & Homelessness

by Dr. Chad Audi

From now until the end of the year, a lot of attention will be placed on America’s homeless population. The nation is wrapping up a five-year plan to end veteran homelessness. Plus, the week before Thanksgiving is known as National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week.

That week, November 14-22, is a time to shed light on the issues of hunger and homelessness. It comes at a time of the year when most Americans are thinking about the things for which they are thankful. Undoubtedly, among the top things to be thankful for is having food on the table and a roof over your head. Just think, on any given night there are more than 578,000 people in this country who don’t have these basic necessities of life.

Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) understands that we all are only one or two paychecks away from being homeless or hungry. Many poor people are at a high risk of becoming homeless, because they can’t afford housing.

As the temperatures start to fall, DRMM is preparing for the usual increase in the number of homeless coming to our doors for shelter from the cold. Most are scared, hungry, and short on hope. We give them food, a hot shower, clothing, and a reason to hope.

So, what can YOU do during National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week? Organize a drive to collect money, food, toiletries, blankets, hats and socks for your local homeless shelters. Hold a prayer vigil that calls attention to the plight of the homeless. Volunteer your time at an agency that helps the homeless — and bring your friends and family members. Or, exercise your political power and write to your legislators to advocate for policy solutions to poverty and homelessness.

by 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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Homelessness Awareness Week

By Dr. Chad Audi

As the country commemorates National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, there is a renewed call to fight poverty. It’s appropriate that this observation occurs each year just before Thanksgiving, a time when people think about what they are thankful for and a time when more people reach out to the disadvantaged to provide them with help and hope.

The annual observance is co-sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness. More than 500 schools, communities and cities participate by bringing greater awareness to the issues of hunger and homelessness through various events and activities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates there are approximately 664,414 people in this country who are homeless each night. This week marks a time for the nation to work together in an effort to end hunger and homelessness. There is strength in numbers. Organizers want participants to hold events such as sleep outs on college campuses, educational forums on hunger and homelessness, fasts, community service days, and fundraising drives. There’s a lot that you can do to bring these issues to the forefront of people’s minds.

So what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? A steady job? Good health? Family and friends? Whatever it may be, in the spirit of the holiday, reach out and help those less fortunate this holiday season and let others know that we are all responsible for making this a better world for everyone. And remember the three A’s: Awareness, Advocacy and Action!

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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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