Last Saturday, November 15th, The Bundle Up Club teamed up with The Wave youth group of Abba's House Worship Center, and with Pastor Vernon Carter and his wife Marilyn of the Metro House of Hope in Oklahoma City. About 15 of us went to help distribute gift bags (handmade hats, scarves, and blankets) and to ride along with Pastor Carter as he handed out sack lunches, coffee, and juice. When we arrived at 8:00 a.m., volunteers were busy in the kitchen fixing up a nice, hot breakfast for those who had come to be served. About 40 people showed up for breakfast that morning.
The Carter's drive and old, gutted-out bus to make their deliveries. There are a few seats left, but the majority of them have been removed and replaced with work stations. They usually pack the sack lunches ahead of time, and make the sandwiches and coffee while they are actually running the route so they can serve them fresh. Since they knew we were coming, they didn't assemble the lunch bags ahead of time and let us be a part of that process. Each sack contained an orange, several individually packaged snack bags, a sandwich, and a container of juice.
Since there were so many of us, the girls and boys split up into teams to do the lunch sack/sandwich making assembly line, and to pass out the food to those who needed it.
The route they run generally takes about two hours to complete. They stop at various points along the route and people will line up to be served. They will also stop the bus if they see an individual coming who needs food.
It was a very cold day Saturday, and we were able to serve a lot of people. We handed out approximately 50 lunches, and gave away about 35 blankets, hats, and scarves. A lot of people needed gloves, so we gave away a lot of those, too. The rest of the gift bags (15) were left with them so they can deliver to those who need them in the coming weeks.
All of us who went on this outreach were humbled by the gratefulness shown by those who received blankets and food. We all realized even more just how blessed we are and how much we often take for granted. We were also in awe of Vernon and Marilyn Carter's dedication and faithfulness to the homeless of the OKC Metro area. They have a passion for service. They have run their outreach, which provides 2 cooked meals a week and the mobile sack lunch delivery every Saturday, for the past 20 years. They also collect every type of item imaginable--clothes, shoes, coats, gloves, blankets, hats, toiletries, food--to distribute to those who need it.
That's dedication and service, people!
Sometimes it's just the two of them assembling the lunch sacks and driving the bus route on Saturdays. They know everyone's name, everyone's story, everyone's background. They pray for and love on and give hope to those who need it most. Pastor Carter has their respect and trust. Everyone we saw that day asked for him. Some wanted prayer, some just wanted to say hi, but all wanted to say thank you.
Everything the Metro House of Hope does is made possible strictly by volunteers and donations. We're planning on going to work with them again soon, and will donate blankets again also.
It was so much fun getting to team up with both our youth group, and the Carter's ministry. It made us realize that when we work together, we can accomplish so much more. What we do may be small, but when paired with the work others, it becomes big. We are so grateful to have had this opportunity! Here are a few pictures from the day: