In March of 2018, the CWF of the First Christian Church in Bolivar started a new project called helping hands. They were concerned about the difficulties that survivors of domestic abuse and their children, as well as teenagers who were aging out of the foster care system, would have in setting up a home. For someone who is literally starting with nothing, the financial challenges are many: rent, groceries, utilities, gas, insurance, and household supplies.
The CWF decided to help with the cost of outfitting a home by setting up a room in the church with donated essentials: pots and pans, silverware and knives, Tupperware and bakeware, bed linens and towels, small appliances and home decor items, as well as plates, cups, and bowls. Working closely with the House of Hope center for women who are the survivors of domestic abuse, the CWF invites the ladies who are leaving the shelter and setting up their new homes to choose whatever items they need.
In addition, a monthly project involves the church members donating new items for the House of Hope. These include pillows, paper products, blankets and throws, hats, gloves, and coats for the children who are cared for in the facility. Laundry baskets filled with new crayons and coloring books for all ages are the requested donation for March. So far, over $600 in new items has been donated by the church, resulting in another $600 in matching funds for the charity.
The CWF ladies met in March to make journals for the women who enter House of Hope. They are encouraged to reflect on their past experiences, current situation, and future goals and record their thoughts in the journal. A social time of homemade soup and bread was followed by decorating the journals with inspirational quotations, scrapbooking paper, ribbons, and other embellishments. They made over 100 journals for the mothers and teenage girls who live at the several shelters operated by House of Hope. In addition, this spring they will reach out to the foster care population through the Division of Family Services and ask that they and their social worker take anything they might need for a new life on their own as they leave foster care at age 18.
Thanks very much to FCC’s Barb Jones and Pastor Bill Nichols for this story and photos.