Tonight was our first Birth to Four Winter Clothing Drop at our Southside location! His Haven gave clothing to over 30 children this afternoon ranging in age from unborn to age four! It was fun to watch our excited little shoppers lining up at the door thirty minutes early and it was a joy to have them shop for new outfits, coats, socks, shoes, baby essentials and more! One of the young mothers left with her hands full after shopping for both her two year old and unborn child!
A tremendous thank you to Carter’s Clothing for their regular donations and a dedicated crew of students from Notre Dame High School who sponsored a clothing drive which yielded a tremendous donation of ‘new with tags’ clothing for the giveaway. What a treat for the 20 plus families that came out for our event.
Our faithful volunteers from the Zonta Club of Elmira showed up early to help organize clothes and also provided a plethora of diapers that were distributed to our guests as well! We can’t forget all the other friends of the ministry that have been intentional to support His Haven, both financially and with generous tangible donations, that help make these programs so successful! Elmira, giving looks good on YOU!
More information on our next event coming to our Facebook page soon!
Weekend in review for His Haven Southside…
123 individuals served by our faithful volunteers from Penn Ave Methodist Church at our Friday dinner. It was delicious and there were no leftovers!
On Friday evening we also hosted our second annual Kid’s Clothing Drop where community children were given the opportunity to have a free shopping experience in a clothing store at our location stocked just for kids! The children, ages 5-18, had fun filling their shopping bags with clothes, both new and gently used, shoes, accessories, undergarments, hygiene supplies, back packs, school supplies, fresh baked candies and more! We know the clothes will soon wear out, but we hope the memories will last a lifetime! ￼
Hundreds of clean, gently used clothing items, backpacks, shoes/boots, new socks, undergarments, winter coats, blankets, winter warmth accessories, hygiene products…these are all items His Haven provides to the community through our Homeless Initiative Program throughout the year, but next level ministry is what happened when these ladies came to His Haven to share their passion about serving others that struggle with housing insecurity.
It took no time at all before these ladies were firing up our ovens and whipping up some homecooked deliciousness. Every Wednesday evening, after spending an afternoon creating in the kitchen, these volunteers hand deliver the meals they have lovingly prepared to homeless individuals and families that are housed temporarily in Elmira at various locations. They visit under the bridges and specific places where they know people are hungry. On any given Wednesday, they distribute between 60 to 85 free meals, but what is even more genuine about the passion that drives these committed volunteers is that they don’t just drop off a meal. They spend time investing into the lives of our local homeless individuals and families by listening, talking and visiting with them with no expectation of anything in return.
Nothin’ says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven and His Haven is so grateful for these ladies and their weekly labor of love for our homeless community. They are a wonderful addition to His Haven and we are grateful to have them be a part of our team!
This was a senseless act of vandalism that impacts so many. It’s hard to be mad, because this is truly, just so sad.
At about 3:30 am Sunday morning, two individuals tried, unsuccessfully, to enter the Community Cupboard at our His Haven Southside location. Upon the realization that the building was secure, one of the individuals proceeded to forcefully throw a large rock at the front door, shattering the glass of the only entry door into the Community Cupboard.
These individuals clearly had no idea the impact their actions would have on our community today on the Southside. To the individuals that did this to our door, it is important to know that this was not just an ordinary door. It was a door that countless people that needed gentle food support went in and out of daily to collect free food items for themselves and their family. It was a door that meant someone, homeless and hungry, could come in and take a couple of pieces of fresh fruit and a package of crackers and be on their way with a much needed afternoon snack. It was a door that meant the difference between a mom or dad with small children feeding or not feeding their family on any given night with free fresh bread and produce that they had access to through this door! It was a door that has offered food provision to so many that might be struggling with food insecurity. This was His Haven’s door into the lives of so many of the people we care about in our community. It’s hard to be mad, because this is truly, just so sad.
For the safety of our community friends, the Community Cupboard has to be closed until further notice. For those that depend on having access to the food in this cupboard, please be patient and bear with us as we are scrambling to get this door repaired quickly so our community friends may safely have access, once again. We will keep you posted, community friends.
UPDATE! A tremendous thank you to a generous friend of the ministry that wanted to expedite the needed repairs on His Haven’s Community Cupboard door by providing a generous donation through our website. Many thanks to Hetrick’s Glass Shop for squeezing His Haven into their busy schedule this week! Looking good! We’re almost back in business!
You never know the impact you’re going to have on someone’s life. As Executive Director, I have often times said that although it is an honor to be a blessing to others at His Haven, on many days, I feel as though I am the one being blessed, simply because of the impact others have on my heart.
This young man was one of our faithful volunteers at His Haven and every day he came to the Southside when I was there, he would track me down, wherever I was in the building, poke his head in my door and say, “Hi! You’re my favorite person!“ He was the sweetest, most genuine, young man, and every day that I saw him, he made me smile. I am inclined to believe that many of you were Zach’s favorite person also, but nonetheless, Zach had a special place in our hearts at His Haven and he will be missed very much.
If you ever received groceries from the front Community Cupboard, Zach helped weigh, distribute and display the food on the shelves and in the refrigerators. If you’ve ever been to any of our events and noticed our clean floors and shiny windows, Zach had a hand in making sure things were up to snuff for our guests to enter the building. If you’ve ever driven around the block and looked at our property and noticed that we try to stay in front of all the litter and garbage along the curb, yes, Zach helped make sure that our property was always well groomed.
Zach came to His Haven on a regular basis through an organization called ARC and he was a joy to work with. To Zach’s family and friends, we are so sorry for your loss. Zach was definitely a blessing not only to our ministry, but to so many others in our community, simply because Zach was so good at being just sweet, genuine, Zach!
His Haven had the privilege of serving over 20 men from our community with haircuts, beard trims, a shopping experience and a hearty BBQ rib dinner! Among our special guests were Veterans, single dads, and men coming out of an assortment of life circumstances. What an honor to be able to sit with, invest in and genuinely connect with each of these amazing men! If you missed out…there’s always next year!
Today was so much fun with 20 of our His Haven Northside after school Drop-In Program children! It was a bus trip to Southside for their turn to shop for Under the Tree From Me, an opportunity to pick out some new PJ’s, a pizza party with LOTS of Christmas cookies and a tour through Tinsel Town on the way back to Northside! There was so much joy and excitement in the air as they sang Christmas carols, selected gifts for their loved ones and giggled and gasped at the incredible display of Christmas lights! A cherished childhood Christmas memory made, for sure!