Socks on our Feet and Toboggans over our Ears
Grace, a United Methodist Congregation, gave us a call on December 6, 2018, with a surprise donation. A semi-trailer, filled with all sorts of brand new items, had been documented for evidence and was being destroyed by noon if local police could not donate all the items to local charities. As Jesus would have it, we were able to receive a dump trailer load of donations, 2 truck loads of donations and one SUV full of donations.
God will never cease to amaze us at how He will provide for the people of Birmingham through whatever creative means necessary to care, love and surprise His precious people.
Volunteers unloaded the donations onto the porch and carport of a community family, and other volunteers came to sort and organize the donations. House Peace, a professional organization business, even showed up to help us sort and organize the immense volume of items we had the privilege to share.
As fast as we could organize, we began giving the items away. A box of socks went with one of our community middle schoolers to Oak Mountain Middle School to help with a sock collection for Be a Blessing Birmingham and another 65 pairs of socks and sunglasses were shared with the Lovelady Center children by His Kids Academy. 400 socks were counted and delivered to Shelby County Detention Center for the inmates. 400 more socks were sent for a Christmas stockings outreach through Liberty Church. A dozen+ backpacks were donated to homeless teenagers through Project Hope and Family Connections and a huge bin of brand new school uniform shirts and pants were shared with Brookville Elementary School.
We Sew Love created 63 Christmas stockings for children that generous community members sponsored for Christmas and ALL those stockings received toiletry items, sunglasses and socks from the haul. We were also able to give 10+ bags of “dated” 2012 shirts to We Sew Love that will be re-purposed into precious clothing for children.
The following day three bags of men’s clothing and socks were given to the Birmingham Care Center and misc bags including toiletries, energy drinks, batteries, gloves and air fresheners were packed and distributed to 18 construction workers. A young girl took a few pairs of socks to share with friends and another volunteer delivered a bag of socks to 3 Hots and a Cot.
On the 7th day, three bags of socks were provided to the 1st Baptist Vincent Homeless ministry, more Christmas gifts were prepared for distribution and hundreds of socks were shared for our senior adult friends at St. Martin’s in the Pines. Our retirement friends are always loving on GKC, through goodie bags for our food boxes, donating overage food from their kitchen and hosting a wrapping party to help us prepare for Christmas, so we were delighted to spoil them.
A few days later we sent a few boxes of donations to our friends at the Foundry, sent two bags of socks to Crestway Baptist Church’s Cocoa and Carols outreach, shared with community friends who were visiting from Atlanta, GA, set out boxes of shirts, gauze, car chargers and toy guitars for our Sunday Trade Market, and shared socks with a Celebrate Recovery group of 180 Church in Springville.
Throughout the time, we have distributed ink cartridges, air wick refills, deodorant, crocs, winter boots and toys to the needs that have presented themselves. We have served popcorn at a Monday night gathering, shared Columbia fleece pullovers to single dads and teenage boys, cleaned the office with some of the cleaner, and literally touched the lives of thousands of people.
Eventually, our food delivery week arrived and our 270 families were blessed with a mix of batteries, sunglasses, air freshers and men’s deodorant… to name a few.
In less than three weeks, almost the entire haul found a home, a purpose, a motivation for community members to share. Isn’t it ironic that what a criminal likely meant for self-gain (*the police did not disclose any details of the crime), God turned for good.
What would Grace Klein Community do with 4000+ pairs of socks?? What would anyone do? But God, He has socks on feet and Alabama toboggans covering ears, all around Birmingham, keeping His kids warm, because He loves us. Through His love for us, He gives us opportunities to emulate Christ by opening wide our arms to share. You never know, sometimes He will send a surprise donation, of brand new items, to remind us that He is beyond everything we could hope for or imagine.
On a side note, for several weeks before this donation came about, I would wake up every morning and the first thing that would come to my mind was this verse…
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38
The morning we received the call for the donation, fifteen minutes or so before the call, Natalie said, “we need to pray for socks and toiletry items for the older teenage kids who do not have sponsors.”
Haha. Isn’t Jesus funny?! They were all covered and thousands more.
My daughter came up to me as we were unloading the trailer of donations and said, “no wonder God was telling you that verse every morning. He was telling you this THIS was going to happen!”