Our Gift Day 2022 partners

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine you did it for me “ Matthew 5:40

Gift Day comes to what we pray will be an encouraging climax this Sunday. Please continue to pray for the people and charitable causes we hope to support and for what you can give. A gift from Sunnyside is so much appreciated by the organisations we give to as almost all of them rely entirely upon donations to support their work. Overseas charities are often extremely grateful for hard currency that enables them to carry on the work they are called to do. Each charity has been specially chosen and they work tirelessly to help the needy, those who do not know the love of God and those who need help for their physical, mental or spiritual wellbeing. Some of the organisations that are not Christian are actually run by Christians who are so grateful for our help and support.

Sunnyside Rural Trust are our neighbours on the allotments with their purpose-built building for helping adults with learning difficulties. It was started many years ago by a local man concerned that there were few opportunities for them and the Trust now runs 3 centres, growing plants, fruit trees and bushes as well keeping hens to produce eggs and honey bees. They are able to make jams and chutneys in season to sell at their shop at the Hemel site or on their regular market stall in Berkhamsted. The dedicated staff teach those that come skills for life as well as providing a safe place to be and social contacts. Their plant nursery has won business contracts supplying bedding plants for the local council and the shop sells the produce they grow as well as its cafe serving teas coffee, cakes and lunches.

Homestart was founded in 1973 arriving in this area in 1983. It aims to make the early years of every child’s life have a big impact, ensuring that no child’s future is limited. They help families affected by post-natal depression, isolation, physical problems and bereavement through practical and emotional support giving the parents they help much needed confidence and strength. Homestart’s volunteers are all parents themselves, so it does give them a great understanding of the situations and 1000 families were helped last year. Families described the help as “A God send and a life saver“.

Rennie Grove Hospice has now merged with the Peace Hospice to provide palliative care for those who need it in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, as soon as the need arises. There is no cost to the patients and they provide care, emotional and practical, so that people can stay in their own homes. They do receive a small funding from the NHS but rely on generous donations to keep the work going.

Dacorum Street Pastors are the churches on the street working together. They can be found in Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted on Friday and Saturday nights, as a visible presence of peace and kindness, taking Christ’s love to the people of our towns, helping and reassuring wherever there is a need. They are Christians who roll up their sleeves and respond practically to the problems of crime and safety on our streets.

The Bulawayo Shelter was founded in 1990 by Sunnysider Diana Calderwood’s mother-in-law Inez, who saw a desperate need for food and shelter for local residents in what is still the second largest city in Zimbabwe. It cares for vulnerable and destitute citizens who have nowhere else to turn. On their land they grow vegetables to provide basic meals but need money to buy in other staples. The gardeners have made wonderful brightly coloured flower beds to cheer all who visit.  They were given a solar power unit enabling them to power the bore hole and not be affected by the regular power cuts, which are a recurrent feature of life in Zimbabwe.  Inez was inspired by the book of James. “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but no deeds?”

Aftera couple of years of studyat All Nations Collegeand working for the New Life Church inCrewe, Heidi Longworth has now returned to Romania, now with the sponsorship of Elim Missions, where she was part of the leadership team at the church in Hunedoara. She is back leading its music and worship at Deo Gloria church and helping with its youth group. She helped lead a summer camp at Casa Haralui in July for people with disabilities and their parents to teach them about Jesus and His love for them, as well as another youth camp in August. She asks us for prayer for her health and more energy that she will have the inspiration and motivation to complete her MA started here in the UK.

Bex Henderson, Jenga Community Development Outreach and its Loved Children’s Centre. It’s more than 9 years ago that Bex was going off to Uganda on her Gap year helped by a Go Grant (see following paragraph). 7 years later, she had founded and fundraised this amazing centre for local pre-school children to give them the best start possible in life.  Jenga is a Christian non-profit charity based in Uganda, but with a sister charity here in England, whose Treasurer is John O’Brien.  JENGA’s in-country team is comprised mainly of local employees with a few international volunteers of whom Bex is one. It provides the basic essentials to life for the most vulnerable and needy in Mbale. The aim is to equip Ugandans to meet the needs of their neighbours and to change their community. Originally, Bex saw the need to start a centre for pre-school children providing care for families with vulnerable little ones and those with special needs. Last year, God gave Bex the vision for a new Community Centre & Sunnyside helped her fundraise for this building. It holds training courses to help the parents to support these very disadvantaged little ones, to recognise the first signs of malnutrition, to prevent and treat it and better still to provide them with ways to earn a regular income. Malnutrition is often associated with other health conditions. They are starting a “Bright Beginnings “programme in another local area where there are many small children suffering from malnutrition. They also help and encourage families with children who have disabilities in an area where there is stigma and little assistance available.

GO Grants. These are available to encourage travel and involvement in Christian charities overseas for 3 months, however, we would consider other Christian opportunities. Sunnyside can offer up to £500 or a third of the sum needing to be raised, whichever is the lesser amount. The individual will be expected to raise the remaining proportion of the funds for the trip themselves. They need to apply in writing to the Chair of the Gift DAY International (GDI) Group outlining their plans and we request that they give a presentation to the church on their return. Since Covid restricted travel so much it has been a while since a grant has been given. Please do ask Rebecca if you would like to apply, smaller discretionary grants can be given. Gap year students are encouraged to apply but it is not restricted to any age group.

Every one of the charities we support has been investigated and is well organised and trustworthy, most are Christian and many that are not are actually run by Christians or have many Christian volunteers. They are always so grateful for our contribution and some survive on donations alone. Please pray for the organisations and how much you might give. We know times are difficult but these charities support people who are desperately poor in body, soul or spirit. Your donations share with them the love of God and show that we have not forgotten them. Every gift, no matter how small is valued and together we can make a difference.

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