Sam from our Anderson, SC branch used several of his Because You Care Days to serve at this youth camp. Eastern gives each employee five Because You Care Days to do mission work and serve our communities each year. In his own words:
This summer I had the opportunity to serve at a youth camp in Clarkston, GA for 5 days. The camp was organized by a group called “Friends of Refugees.” When the US receives refugees, many of them are resettled in Clarkston, GA. In fact, the city has resettled over 40,000 refugees from many different countries in the past 25 years. The campers ranged from kindergarten to fifth grade. We spent each day getting to know the kids through playing games, leading bible studies, and sharing meals. In the evenings, we would make home visits in attempts to get to know the adult members of the families. Many of these visits required the use of Google Translate to overcome the language barrier when communicating. Through my time there, I had the chance to meet many interesting folks from all over the world! I’ve gained a greater understanding of how the refugee resettlement program in America works, and I was able to gain a strong sense of empathy for how difficult it is to provide for one’s family when living in a foreign country with a language barrier.
From Spencer L on how he used two of his five Because You Care Days (Mission Days) offered by Eastern.
At Eastern, each employee is given five days per year to do mission-type activities. These days are called Because You Care Days and here’s one story of how our employees use these days to support their family and community.
I chaperoned my daughter Kiley’s field trip to Old Salem Historic District in Winston-Salem. We got to learn about a lot of history about the Moravian culture in the late 1700’s. We got to visit the shoemaker, the gun shop, the pottery studio, and the bakery. All of the people were dressed for the period and taught us about their crafts. We also got to visit the single brothers’ workshop where single boys went to learn a trade and some eventually left to get married. It was a very informative experience and very interesting to learn about how the people lived over 200 years ago.
“It was awesome to see how each athlete was special in their own, unique way. They were full of personality. My favorite part of the day was seeing the excitement on their faces after winning a game or event!” ~Amber L
“So many things stuck with me but most of all was the unfaltering excitement and joy of the athletes. They have a life full of challenges but their outlook always stays positive. Makes you feel guilty for EVER complaining! Life lesson learned!” ~Joni S
“I do it every year and it never seems to amaze me how happy they are and it always a blessing to see the big smiles on their faces. It’s a great event and I would strongly urge anyone who’s never had the opportunity to take part in it to do so. They are just a joy to be around.” ~Jason T
“I was blown away to see how much our people love it! There is quite a difference between doing something out of obligation or with joyful passion.” ~David K
“I love that these kids take pride in the games that they compete in. They do their best, and earning a medal brings such a smile to their face. It is a fun day for both participants and volunteers!!” ~Erin S
In April, we participated in the American Heart Association’s Upstate Heart Walk again. We had a very successful year fundraising. One of our team, Joni S, was an all-star and got over $1400 in donations by holding a silent auction within the company.
We love supporting the American Heart Association because heart disease has affected many of our loved ones and you probably know someone who has been affected. Heart Disease is the #1 cause of death in the U.S. You can learn more about heart disease on the American Heart Association’s website.
“This was the third year that Eastern was a Corporate Sponsor of the Hank Parker Shoot. It is a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) event to raise funds for Summer Camp Scholarships in the Carolinas Region which includes North and South Carolina. FCA’s vision is to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.
The event includes sporting clay team competition, key note speakers, auctions and great food. A number of celebrates attend every year including former and current sports stars, coaches, military heroes and more. The event raised over $100,000 for camp scholarships.” – Kip Miller
“Great day! Got to hear some great Christian speakers, visit with customers, and spend time with associates! Also, got to spend the day with my son.” – Robby Davis
From Jan H (originally posted on the Teleios Blog*)
Sunday, November 6…What a wonderful day to be in the house of the Lord and what better place to be but at ACTS Fellowship in Iringa, Tanzania!
The people of the church allowed us to worship with them, along with the people of Kidete. Dr. Floyd Parker preached and conducted a wedding at the same time. We sang, danced, worshiped and celebrated – all of which were pleasing to the Lord.
After a time of rest, we attended the celebration/reception of Raymond and Jessica (who made a beautiful bride, by the way!)
At this time, we ate and danced. Brian, “Bubba,” brought greetings and blessings from the Team as we presented our gift of a mattress.
What a blessing it is to be in Iringa with Neema, Mpeli and the children of Daily Bread of Life, our family.
From Bubba H
I went on this trip with mixed emotions. This trip was moved up from January to November because of the rains and the scope of work to be done. It was a little scary, leaving Hannah, who would sign up, could we get the funds for Jan. Floyd and I decided we would make a plan and let GOD work out the rest. And that is just what we did!
Floyd and I made a plan of the piping system that we wanted to install at Daily Bread Life. It was urgent that we protect the foundations of the buildings on-site. The sidewalks that fellow associates had built were in danger of being lost because of the rains. I was worried that Mpeli would not be able to find materials that we needed for the project. Floyd had talked with him several times coaching him on what we needed. The rest was in God’s hands. There is no Lowes to run to in Tanzania.
Then God started to WORK! Kip approved more mission days for me. John Stephenson (Eastern – Charlotte) signed up for the trip along with Preston. We had things worked out for Hannah while we were gone. Our church paid the money for Jan’s trip. We were all set to go, but I still had doubts. Can we do all this work in a week? Will Mpeli find a backhoe? Will I remember how to run it! It has been 5 years you know. LOL. But I found that with God’s help and a very determined Floyd Parker we could do anything.
We were greeted at the airport by Mpeli, Maka, and Roy. It was surreal to be back and for Jan to be with me. The next day we traveled to Iringa and got a welcome from the children like no other. All the materials we had ordered were there. The next day came the backhoe (that I had not forgotten how to run). We laid pipe and built boxes to catch the rainwater. We hung gutters and piped them to the boxes. Rock was placed in the wash areas to stop further problems. The whole time Neema, Mpeli, and the children were helping. It was not easy work and we had no problem sleeping at night. The Lord was definitely present on this trip.
We had an unforgettable trip. Being with my wife and three Godly men on this trip will be a lasting memory of mine. But I want people to know that the work is NOT done. There is plenty more to do at Daily Bread Life and Asanta Sana children’s homes. I will be helping Floyd to encourage people to go to Tanzania or anywhere the Lord draws you to go. I never dreamed I would go on a mission trip like this. It was Jack Sullivan who planted the seed in me about Tanzania. Then GOD took over. Floyd asked the question on my first trip “Why would Americans come to Tanzania? Why would they come to the village of Kidete?” Then he answered, “Where here they could find the Lord.” Nothing could be truer. Let’s keep Kip, Kim, Floyd, Bonnie, Neema, and Mpeli’s dream alive! Who knows what you will find on a mission trip!
I am a member of Westover Church in Greensboro, NC. This summer, we took our entire youth group, consisting of 193 teens with 23 adult volunteers to Atlanta, GA, to serve with different non-profit organizations. The adult volunteers served as cooks, work group leaders, drivers, and supervisors. Our caravan for the eight-day trip included eighteen 15-passenger vans, three SUV’s, and a PENSKE truck for all the luggage, food, etc. We were housed at a youth center just outside of Atlanta, graciously provided by a Presbyterian church with which we are affiliated.
That first Sunday, we went to Passion City Church where our students got to hear Pastor Louie Giglio and Author/Evangelist Ravi Zacharias. During the week, our group worked with several different organizations throughout Atlanta. My group worked with Open Hands Atlanta, where we packaged and delivered specialized meal plans to many elderly with health conditions. In fact, it turned out that my group packaged and delivered more meals than any other volunteer group in the history of Open Hands Atlanta, some 11,300 meals. We now hold the best record, which was previously held by Home Depot.
One night during the week, our entire youth group partnered with Passion City Church and another organization serving food, delivering clothes, and sharing the gospel with the homeless in the heart of Atlanta.
All in all, my Westover group gave their best throughout the week in serving others and were fully renewed in our faith.
Five o’clock on an early summer morning, Joe Johnson, Dave Marshall, Larry Reno, and Joe’s father, Tony Johnson arrived at The Sulzbacher Center for the homeless in Jacksonville to assist in serving breakfast to the residents. On this particular morning, they were greeted by a former resident who now serves at the center as a way to show appreciation for the opportunity he now has to “give back,” as he had been a resident there some time ago. After serving breakfast, he then rides his bicycle ten miles to where he works! He puts over a hundred miles a week on his bicycle.
The Eastern crew shared that meeting this man and learning of the sacrifice he makes so that he can serve, helped them to put their “meager sacrifice” to serve in perspective and appreciating so much more their opportunity to serve others.