During the holidays, you hear about people reaching out to those in need, but very few people actually do it. This past Christmas, Aileen Gram-Reefer of Faith Christian Fellowship CRC in Walnut Creek, Calif., turned hearing into doing.
When her employer wanted to promote team building, volunteer projects were the answer. Gram-Reefer was asked to organize the projects since she had been attending a "Hearing & Doing" series at her church. The program seeks to link volunteers to needs in the community.
Gram-Reefer coordinated three projects: food boxes for a local crisis center; gifts for Toys for Tots; and cookies, cider, and caroling at a convalescent center.
Her employer allowed her to organize the outreach activities during business hours. "Several of the folks who went to [the crisis center] told me that it was enlightening, sad, hard work, but it felt good and they will go back again and take their kids," said Gram-Reefer.
The monthly "Hearing & Doing" speaker series was designed by the community relations team of Faith Christian Fellowship to help connect individuals and groups to the volunteer opportunities available in the community. The program includes 30 churches throughout Contra Costa County.
"It has worked out well to get people out of the pews and into the community," said the series founder, Bill Gram-Reefer.