When thinking about the holidays, our initial thoughts are often of joy and warm feelings. Time with family and friends and moments to reflect on the person of Jesus Christ naturally bring about peace. However, sometimes we may fail to recognize that many do not consider the holiday season a time of hope and rest if they struggle to meet physical needs of both themselves and their families.
An event called Giving Hope in San Marcos sees this need and seeks to change it in their community every December.
“Our main goal is to share Jesus and to give people hope – a real hope, not a temporary hope,” said Amy Yarbrough, president of Giving Hope.
Giving Hope is a ministry that provides for physical and spiritual needs of under-resourced families in San Marcos. Since 2007, Giving Hope has served its community annually, modeled after similar ministries in Houston and New Braunfels.
Amy was a part of Heart of Hope in New Braunfels. Then, she went to a district-wide school meeting where she learned about the poverty level and the number of children on free and reduced lunch in San Marcos.
“When I was at that meeting, God was knocking on my shoulder saying, ‘You need to do Giving Hope in San Marcos,’” Amy said.
The first Giving Hope started with 45 families but has grown over the years to include up to about 75 families in one event.
This year on Dec. 10, Giving Hope served 67 families made up of 214 children and 116 adults. Each family was invited to the event after the leaders of Giving Hope went through the school districts and other organizations to find under-resourced families.
During the event, families were treated to a meal with a volunteer table host, Christmas music, puppet show, and a testimony speaker.
Additionally, the families went home with an adult Bible, children's Bible, box of groceries, and diapers for infants. Each child was able to select two toys and a blanket, and each 5-year-old was surprised with a new bike and helmet.
For this event to happen, Giving Hope has a team of leaders that plan and organize as well as 200 volunteers that serve the day of.
The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering helps support Giving Hope in providing funds to purchase 100 boxes of non-perishable groceries for the families to have during the rest of their holiday season. To partner with the Hunger Offering in supporting ministries like Giving Hope, visit here.
By Guest Author
Abby Hopkins, Texas Baptist Hunger Offering Intern