Friday, June 23, 2017

I left part of my heart in Philly...

It's a tale where I'm torn by 2 cities but know for sure where I'm to be (Pittsburgh).

It's a tale of transformation for this ministry (from Aramingo Ave. to greater Philly).

It's a tale that I've been watching unfold for a while now and I think I'm finally ready to share it with you.

Previously I'd posted about how Pittsburgh "hides" their homeless and yet this is where I call home, but my heart is still with the homeless in Philly where the need is so evident they'll never be able to hide it. Over the past couple of weeks, I've been taking note of this, thinking, praying, and deciding that my efforts (even from afar) need to remain focused there. Fortunately, I have some great friends in ministry there who have hearts of gold and who I know want to make a difference in a city they can call home. (Let's leave my personal biases and why I can't live there out of this ;) So, Cherished Angels is NOT dead, it's finally being resurrected and here's how...

Organizations that I know, trust, and love... and you can too, include:

The Sunday LOVE Project
Angels in Motion (serving Aramingo Ave. ;)
One Love South Jersey
Salvation of Sorrows
Friends of Fairview Give Back

Of course, I can't be there to help them, but what I can and will be doing...
1. Margaux has a lot on her hands, feeding the homeless daily. I know she enjoys including a little note in the lunch bags she hands out in Kensington so I'll be sending notes to LOVE to give out to remind the homeless to keep their chins up, someone cares about them.
2. Angels in Motion make these awesome sleeping mats out of plarn for the homeless to sleep on. I'll be lending them a hand in the plarn making process (LOL) 
3. Sending old clothes and blankets to Friends of Fairview Give Back. Instead of giving these things to local thrift stores I'll just box them up and send them there :)

I still need to talk to Salvation of Sorrows but Abbie is working on getting a shower bus up and running. She's already got a mobile haircutting bus. Hopefully, when she gets the shower going I'll be making and supplying her with homemade soap.

I also need to talk to Mike at One Love South Jersey to find a way of helping him. I know he does a lot of different things. I'm wondering about whether the Ronald McDonald house there could use some encouraging pictures that could be used for placemats, hanging on the walls, etc. I know this isn't "homeless ministry" but knowing Mike does so much to help the homeless and this is a cause near and dear to his heart makes this one worthwhile.

So, as you can see, Cherished Angels is transforming, but hopefully in and by doing so it will be an organization that can help more people. I hope you'll hang on tight and enjoy the ride with me. Next stop... Pittsburgh. I'm sure there's something I can do here, I just haven't figured out what yet since ministering in the shelters themselves isn't where my heart or this ministry are meant to be.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Under Construction...

What started out as a ministry in Philadelphia is being slowly transformed and reborn...

Two weeks ago I moved back home to Pittsburgh after running this ministry for a year. I felt the need to be back with family and friends again. At the same time, I've also started Seminary and wanted to be back in my home church again as I take classes.By no means does this change my heart for the homeless, it simply changes the location from which I minister to them. However, I'm currently taking a bit of time off to re-establish myself here in Pittsburgh and see what ministries are here and how I can connect with them.

Finding the homeless in Pittsburgh is different than finding them in Philly. They're here, but Pittsburgh does a better "job" of burying the issue. Given time I'll figure this out and find my niche once again. In the mean time, I want to thank everyone who helped with this ministry while it was in Philly and hope that many of you will still keep us in your hearts as we transition it to its new location here in Pittsburgh.

More to come so stay tuned, thank you!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Let's spread some Easter joy!

As you've come to see, Cherished Angesl really does love and care about their friends down on Aramingo, but sometimes it's good to look outwards a bit too. This is especially true when it comes to helping kids who'd oftentimes otherwise simply fall through the proverbial cracks. However, with Easter only a few short months away, we've been given the opportunity to help these children by giving them an Easter basket - something their parents probably couldn't afford without our help.

Image result for happy easter

This year we're joining up with One Love South Jersey to bring Easter baskets to St. Christopher's Hospital, Ronald McDonald Houses in both Philly and Camden, Williamstown Food Bank, some schools, shelters, food pantries, and local families in need. While these locations aren't as close to Aramingo as we're used to serving, but for kids it's worth the miles.

Now, we're asking you to get involved!

What we need...

Please don't send / donate anything that isn't in packaging!

If you live in North Philly, message me and we'll set something up so you can donate to this great project. For those who don't live near here, don't let distance be an impediment to you here! Even if you're reading this, living in California, you can still get involved. Simply visit our Amazon wishlist, make a purchase, and know that you've made a difference in the life of a child this Easter.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hard at work behind the scenes this week...

I've been busy reaching out and getting connected to other ministries and organizations who can be a blessing to my friends who live down on Aramingo. These include:

One Love South Jersey

Michael, owner of this great ministry, was a real blessing last month. It's thanks to him that we had coats to pass out.

The Shower Truck

A new ministry coming to Philly and already being asked about by some of my homeless friends down on Aramingo...It's exactly what it sounds like: a truck with showers in it, coming soon with more updates to follow.

Miracle Messages

Another new ministry coming to Philly, which I believe will be a great one... The goal is to allow our homeless friends to create a short video for someone they want to try to reach out to. The ministry then attempts to find the people and share the video with them on their behalf with the ultimate goal being to reunite our homeless friends with their loved ones.

The Joy of Sox

This is one I just reached out to this morning and we're supposed to be getting approximately 100+ pairs of socks, which is great because our homeless friends on Aramingo have really been stressing the need for this.

I look forward to making many other great connections in the coming weeks and months of this ministry. These are just the beginning and while I'm really looking forward to working with them, I'm also looking forward to seeing who else we can work with too!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Emergency help comes to Aramingo Friday 2/10 1:30PM

With all the snow we've been dumped... We're making an emergency trip out to help the homeless on Aramingo Ave. Friday 2/10 at 1:30PM If you see someone who could use our help please tell them to look for this vehicle... We'll be rolling through with warm, dry clothes and some blankets and jackets too... Spread the word, thx!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Spreading the Love 1 Sock at a Time...

At Cherished Angels we believe in giving back to those who help us. We enjoy reaching out and serving with other homeless ministries and appreciated the opportunity that was given to us for doing so the other night. We met up with One Love S. Jersey to help them put together socks for their Valentine's Day ministry...

This event will be held as follows...

It's never too late to sign up to volunteer to help them!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Recap of January's Outreach

What I saw on Saturday truly broke my heart. While I knew there were at least 20 people down on Aramingo, what I didn't know and wasn't prepared to see was the 40+ people living inside an old, abandoned warehouse that I wouldn't even want an animal to live inside. Yes, there is an overwhelming need for people to help the homeless on Aramingo.

With what is at least 50 people living on Aramingo Ave, the need is great. The main problem here is that outreaches simply aren't located there nor are many trying to get down there to help this area of our city. While I hear about two different people who take things down there occasionally, I don't hear of anyone with an organized effort attempting to serve this area. For a homeless person to get help in Center City (where most of the help is located) is a 2-hour walk. This weather, coupled with their basic daily needs, makes it impossible for them to walk this on any given day.

With Cherished Angels I've been slowly trying to build up an organized effort, but I need your help.

What I've done so far...

This weekend blankets, scarves, jackets, and soap went out. Thanks to those who donated this month, it was greatly appreciated!

Special thanks to One Love South Jersey we were able to leave two big bags of coats at the warehouse for those in need!

What I'm in the midst of doing...

I'm helping with 2 new ministries in the area. (More info to come as we get them rolling.)
Shower to the People will be bringing shower trucks for the homeless to the area to help restore some of their dignity.
Miracle Messages is an organization that allows the homeless to send out messages to their families. It's our hope that through these messages some of them will be able to reunite with their families and find their way off the street.

I'll also be reaching out to churches in the area to ask for help. Businesses are also invited and encouraged to help!

What we need for February 25 (our next outreach)...

People were asking for gloves.
Socks are ALWAYS needed.
Yarn (for making scarves and washcloths)
Grocery shopping bags. (I know lots of people have an excess of these, this is a small donation but can really help us in terms of organization and them so they have another bag to use.)
Snacks are greatly appreciated! Oftentimes I'll go down without food and be asked for it. Anything healthy (e.g. no candy or nuts) and nonperishable, along with water is greatly appreciated.

What we're doing February 25...

This time I'll be making scarves, soap, and washcloths. I'll also be handing out "notes of encouragement" since it's the month of February (think Valentine's day ;). I'm not sure what time we're going out yet, but it will definitely be that day. If you're interested in volunteering or donating, please let me know. I'm currently working on creating a better place for doing this ministry, somewhere the homeless can come on this day to pick up what they need. More info to follow...

Please understand that many of our neighbors are afraid to enter the shelters. One gentleman told me he's still got a bullet wound from the last time he was in a shelter and feels safer on the streets. These are people too, people we can unite together to help. Never feel that you're unable to give enough. Truly, every bit (no matter how small) makes a big impact.

Thank you!