In 1984, when Tina Turner belted out the lyrics, “What’s love got to do, got to do with it”, she wryly depicted love as a “Second Hand Emotion,” but there is nothing second-hand about the expressions of love in Wheeling, especially for our poor and homeless brothers and sisters.
On Dec. 15, Youth Services System, Inc. will open its doors and welcome the homeless from our community. Those that have depended on this shelter to protect them from the freezing cold of the winter months generally refer to it as the “Freeze Shelter.”
John Moses has a different expression – ministry. He says it’s the love, caring and compassion of our community that welcomes, protects, and dignifies our guests.
On Saturday, Nov. 14, a group of ladies from the Junior League of Wheeling brought in blankets they had made over the course of many meetings and visits to each other’s homes. The hours of time, conversations and love that were threaded into making the blankets is a beautiful act of kindness that helps make the Winter Freeze Shelter work. The ladies were commenting about the Junior League of Wheeling celebrating 75 years of service so they made 75 blankets and donated them to the Winter Freeze Shelter guests.
On Nov. 15, a group of 13 Christ United Methodist Church members arrived to cover the beds with fresh linens, handmade blankets and quilts.. This is the third year for their Congregational Mission Work Team Day group to embark on making the beds. The adults want to teach by example so this mission team joins kids and adults together to do service projects.
John Moses shared a few bits of conversations that he had that day. When he asked one of the kids if she makes her own bed at home every day, she replied, “Heck No, but this is fun.”
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Kaleigh Bryant and Emily Croft worked together setting up beds.
When all of the beds were made everyone joined hands in a circle and Ed Corbitt said a prayer thanking God for the gifts He gives to us and asked to keep our brothers & sisters who have so much less, safe.
The kindness that has been rolling in for the homeless doesn’t stop there. Ebenezer United Methodist Church made 17 quilts that are also covering the beds.
Not a day goes by without us meeting caring, giving, compassionate people wanting to express some acts of kindness to the homeless.
Meet Greg and Candy Basil. On Nov. 22, Greg and Candy towed their Good Stuff BBQ smoker, tents, and a massive amount of food. The love they shared was for the homeless and hungry. They peeled 40 pounds of potatoes, cooked 30 pounds of green beans, brought 100 dinner rolls and cooked enough chicken to feed 100 people!
With the help from Mark Gorby and Tony Provenzano about 100 people were served through the food line. The Basils didn’t call the TV stations, they called YSS, visited the site and posted on Facebook that they were going to be in East Wheeling to offer a day that people didn’t have to go without food. The circle of friends and family spread the information to their friends and within minutes the news was out. What little food that was left went to the 14th Street house of Kate Marshall, the House of Hagar. Kate opens her house every Sunday for a community meal, often with standing room only.
Fast forward two days to Nov. 24. Two of the previous year’s homeless guests stopped by today with a large pot of soup for the YSS staff. The amount of love that they received from the volunteers who helped them has been reciprocated through the love of making soup together for others.
There is a very common thread that weaves all of these acts of kindness together…
Love’s Got Everything To Do with It!
If you want to help the local homeless get through the cold winter months, random act of kindness are welcome at Youth Services System for the Winter Freeze Shelter guests. Items that are always in short supply are bottled water, coffee, long johns, underwear, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, boots and cash to purchase medicine and items that are not donated. Volunteers to spend the night are needed too. Thank you!
We welcome your kindness and love for others. For more information about how you can help those in need, call Holly Fox 304-218-2847 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.