In November 2016, we hosted our first Family Volunteer Day. We gathered volunteers from across Baltimore City and County. Each family sorted and packed food and toiletries for families in the mountains of the Dominican Republic and families in the cities of Haiti. In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti killing hundreds and leaving survivors homeless and without basic necessities. These families were already suffering from the effects of the recent cholera epidemic, earthquake and ongoing poverty. While the Dominican Republic has been spared the natural disasters that have devastated Haiti, poverty is extremely high for native Dominicans and for the majority of the Haitians who have crossed the border seeking a better life. An inequitable distribution of wealth, corruption and limited social programs have contributed to the financial conditions of many Dominicans. Family Volunteer Day, provided MBM another opportunity to assist those in need.
Families were able to engage in acts of service providing children with a great lesson on serving others. We packaged over 300 bags of supplies.
Family Volunteer Day ~2016
Family Volunteer Day 2017(FVD)brought us face to face with an issue that is plaguing our country and our world - forced migration. We took the opportunity to teach others about the growing numbers of migrant and refugees who are on the move as a result of persecution, civil war or natural disaster. FVD, in particular gave local families the opportunity to support migrants from Puerto Rico and refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan who have resettled in the United States. Mothers, fathers and their children packed household items - sheets, towels, blankets and kitchen supplies to help make transitions into new homes a little easier for the newly arrived families. Special thanks to Lutheran Social Services National Capital Area who connected us to families in need!
ministry BEYOND myself
Here is a Facebook post from 2017's Family Volunteer Day...
"Today is #FamilyVolunteerDay How are you reaching others?
Didn't know much about asylum seekers and the number of refugee children without their parents until today....
The stories and journeys will cause you to be very thankful for what you have today and hopefully encourage you to be involved. And try not to be so quick to judge. No one should live in fear, whether it's in Baltimore or elsewhere.
Go beyond yourself and your sphere of influence and help others . Thank you Kristy Herring !!!
#walkintheirshoes #bethelight #openyourheart #helpingPR
~ Cyn Bethea, 2017