It is Father's Day today. Just a few days ago I got a letter in the mail from a man who has not only fathered his own, but has also offered guidance, direction, wisdom, strength, love and practical help to countless others. He does so now in his role as Shepherd of the Streets. Please read the letter below and consider contributing to this important local ministry.
I wish you could spend just one day at Shepherd of the Streets and experience the gambit of emotions that cross our threshold.
• An aunt, battling cancer, finds the four children (ages 4-9) of her niece on her front porch as her neice drives off into the night … no clothing, no toys, no documentation, and in deplorable condition. ~ Direction, Spiritual Support
• A newborn has severe intestinal issues, must go to Geisinger in Danville twice a week for surgeries. The single mother has no money for the gasoline to do this for an undetermined period. ~ Medical Transportation, Hope
• A distressed woman who buried her father and mother within one month receives news that her sister has been discovered murdered in Washington, D.C and needs transportation. ~ Transportation, Spiritual Strength
• A heart-broken mother is told that her son has been shot in Pittsburgh. ~ Bus Fare, Prayer, Consolation
• A panicked grandmother needs a ticket to New York City because her four-year-old granddaughter’s face has been torn off by a pit-bull. ~ Prayer, Bus Fare
• A hopeful man on the kidney transplant list must go to Philadelphia once-a-month for evaluation. ~ Transportation, Spiritual Tenacity
• A depressed grandmother whose cancer has spread to her liver and pancreas. ~ Spiritual Support and Sustaining Love
• A man who lost his job has a heart attack and no resources. ~ Medication
• The uninsured and underinsured who must have life-sustaining medication until they get on a pharmaceutical help list. ~ Medication, Direction
And then there is my own distress when I must say, “Sorry, we have no funds right now.”
We spend around $2,000 per week on medical assistance and $1,000 per month on medical transportation.
Lately we have been taping a sign on the front door, “WE HAVE NO FUNDS FOR PRESCRIPTIONS” which lasts from three days to two weeks. It is the prescription fund that supplies all those emergencies, medicines, medical travel and other medicinal needs.
On top of that is the outlay for documentation, steel-toed boots and other non-skid shoes, basic uniforms for a new job, glasses, dental needs, and other needs for health & safety.
Every summer we face the need for support: this summer, more-so, because of the economic condition of our country.
You might think, “There is so little I can give.” That may be true, but together that little amounts to much, because every single contribution is as important as every single case.
Your gift is put to work right here in Lycoming County, giving compassionate support to around 300 people a month.
If it were not for the love and sacrifice of people like you we could not provide the relief and spiritual support that is given in The Name of Jesus.
Please give as generously as you can to support our Summer Appeal so that we can continue to supply this grace.
On behalf of the people whose lives your gift will touch, thank you.
Gratefully serving Jesus and you,
J. Morris Smith, Th.D.
Please mail, or drop off your contribution to:
United Churches of Lycoming County
Shepherd of the Streets
669 Center Street
Williamsport, PA 17701-4934
You are welcome to visit the office and see what your gift does.