“Thank You” from Victory in the Valley

On Saturday April 6, several women gathered in the church’s gym to work together on a variety of service projects, including providing canned goods for the Union Rescue Mission, decorating items for a Lady Bugg House fund raiser, creating special treats for Jackson Elementary staff, and small gift bags for Victory in the Valley.

We received a big “Thank You” from Victory in the Valley, here’s a letter from Diana Thomi explaining how the gift bags we made will benefit many.

Dear Friends,

Victory in the Valley would like to take a moment to thank each of you for all of the hard work you put in to making 500 treat bags for our patients. The time you each invested in those treasures will bless not only the patients who receive the treat bags but also others such as nurses, doctors, etc who see the treat bags. What a great witness of the love of Christ.

Our Hospitality Centre sees approximately 1,300 patients per month so you are impacting many lives. The extra time you took to write encouraging words on each of hte bags gives an extra special meaning to those that need a dose of joy and blessing.

Donations, whether financial or in-kind, are at the heart of what makes Victory in the Valley successful. As you are aware, VIV is here to encourage cancer patients and their families on their journey by offering HOPE through emotional and spiritual support, while providing practical services to improve the quality of their lives. From daily contacts made at the Hospitatlity Centre or Victory house ro our East/West Run in May or Women’s Weekend in August, we hear so many stories of how someone’s outlook has changed or how many new friendships have been made. Every contact we make influences someone’s story of life. Most importantly it is our goal to encourage patients in their faith, or to introduce them to a personal relationship with the Lord.

Thank you for makingVictory in the Valley a priority. Our ministry fills an important need for those facing what can be an overwhelming diagnosis at times. We will continue to serve the needs of those walking a cancer journey with continued support like yours.

God Bless,

Diana Thomi RN, BS

Executive Director

A Sweet Saturday of Service

First Free women and girls are invited to gather on Saturday, April 6, 9:30 – 11:30 in our church gym for a sweet way to connect with one another as we work together on a variety of projects. We’ll be busy preparing 500 encouragement/treat bags for cancer patients through Victory in the Valley, helping the Lady Bugg House to prepare for their upcoming fundraising dinner for 300, as well as preparing a treat for the staff at Jackson Elementary School. The Union Rescue Mission is in need of canned goods, so we invite you to bring a canned good(s) as your “admission price.”

Here’s some info about each of these ministries we will be serving this weekend:

Victory in the Valley:

Victory in the Valley’s mission statement is:

To encourage cancer patients & families on their journey by offering HOPE through emotional and spiritual support, while providing practical services to improve the quality of their lives.

First Free’s own Diana Thomi is the executive director of Victory in the Valley. When Diana’s mother Lois was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer in 1982, Lois was greatly encouraged by a former cancer patient. Prompted by this friend’s act of caring in a dark time, Lois, with the help of Diana, founded Victory in the Valley a year later. Today Victory in the Valley provides a variety of programs and events that help raise awareness and support for cancer patients, such as support groups, quilting classes, prayer support, transportation, pet therapy programs, and more. It will be our joy to help Victory in the Valley continue to spread encouragement to cancer patients through these sweet encouragement bags. We still need a few more items donated to fill these bags. Stop by the Women’s Ministry Table to see how you can help. You can find out more about this valuable ministry by visiting their website at www.victoryinthevalley.com.

Lady Bugg House:

Lady Bugg House states on their ministry website that they are:

Dedicated to mentoring young mothers and their children who are committed to change and spiritual growth.

Founder and executive director, Michelle Pitman, and the staff at Lady Bugg House serve young mothers and their children through their resident and non-resident programs. The Lady Bugg House provides a host of services: helping with educational, employment, and health needs, nurturing social, emotional, and spiritual development, and sharing parenting and life skills – to name a few. Many of you have already served as volunteers to this ministry in a variety of ways and now we’ll have the joy to help them prepare for their celebration and fundraising dinner. You’ll have the fun of wrapping plastic ware in napkins and decorating water bottles for this dinner of over 300!

You can find out more about the ministry of the Lady Bugg House by visiting their website at ladybugghouse.com.

Jackson Elementary School:

Several years ago First Free decided to “adopt” Jackson Elementary School as a way to become more involved in our community here at 1825 N. Woodlawn. We have had the joy of interacting with the administration and staff at Jackson and helping them meet some of the needs of their students and parents. Furnishing lunch buddies for students, organizing the coat drive at Christmas, and providing lunch for their Career Day presenters are a few ways we have purposed to be a good neighbors to Jackson. From time to time we’ve slipped a fun treat in the staff mailboxes to encourage these teachers and administrators as they work hard to teach our younger generation. Our plan on the 6th is to prepare a special treat for these special friends at Jackson.

Union Rescue Mission:

The Union Rescue Mission is an evangelical Christian ministry committed to sharing the gospel and meeting the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of the homeless and poor in our community.

Our neighbors on North Hydraulic Street not only are committed to feeding the spiritual needs of the poor but also feeding them….real food! One of their slogans says: Where Hunger Ends & Hope Begins. Bring a canned good or two or three with you to our Sweet Saturday of Service and we’ll make sure it gets to the homeless and hungry through the Union Rescue Mission.

We look forward to seeing you on this special Saturday. With lots of projects we’ll need lots of help. Moms, your daughters, elementary school aged and older, would be of great help, too! Bring them with you for a fun and worthwhile morning of sweet service!