Sunrise does so much better when we have great folks walking alongside us and partnering with us. The partnerships we have within our communities are vital, especially now when trying to give the kids we serve a sense of normalcy.
When a basketball goal was needed at one of our campuses, a donor graciously gave. To some the gift may seem small, but the hours of entertainment and joy that will be given will last a lifetime.
Everyone can do something. At Sunrise, we have so many different ways to get involved. It is important for us to let people get involved at their own pace and speed.
You and your landscaping company can come out for a day, play dodge ball, have some pizza and teach the kids how to build raised garden beds. Students can create birthday cards for the kids who are in our care 24/7. Sunday school classes can donate pennies for Penny Miles. A football team can collect warm coats. Perhaps you and your staff can gather gift cards for Christmas. We want to make sure that whatever you choose to do, it is a good fit for you and your group and especially for the kids we serve.
But wait — Christmas is right around the corner! We need folks who can help us with cards, wrapping paper, gifts, stockings and stocking stuffers. We're looking for individuals and groups who will get invested and spend time with our kids on campus. Celebrating with a meal and game night is just one act of care and love that is instrumental in the lives of children who previously may not have deemed themselves worthy of adult attention and interaction.
These moments imprint on the lives of our kids and build their foundation for a better future. Hurting people need to see Christians demonstrating the love of Christ. Teaching God's Word can come in the way of acts of service and by showing what Christians look like. A picture like that is definitely worth more than a thousand words. The power of community is found in each of you, and we work better when we work together.
At Sunrise, we are exceptionally grateful to all who have helped, prayed, donated and volunteered with us. It makes it possible to continue to care for hundreds of kids daily who need to know there are good and gracious people in their world.
The next time you think, "How can I get involved?" — please reach out. I would love to talk with you about volunteering — Birthday Blessings, Penny Miles, school supplies collection, coat drives or a Sunrise speaker will come to your church. Or perhaps a fishing day, pumpkin painting party or even a game of basketball may be just what our community needs. One thing is for sure — we need you, and they need us.
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so, some people have entertained angels without knowing it" (Hebrews 13:2).
Stacie McLaughlin is associate director of marketing at Sunrise Children's Services.