Yellow Bag Project Promotes Cycle of Giving

When Miracle Hill approached Christ Church about hosting a Yellow Bag Project, staff at the church couldn’t have been more excited about the possibility of engaging their entire parish in a cycle of giving. The church was in the process of planning their summer Vacation Bible School program, and including a hands-on opportunity for the children to experience the sacrifice and joy of serving those in need in our community seemed like a good fit.

The Yellow Bag Project is a way for churches to collectively donate items that can be sold in Miracle Hill’s thrift stores, with proceeds providing support for our homeless shelters, recovery programs and foster care. Once the Yellow Bag Project is completed, Miracle Hill then adds the church to our Corners of Your Field program and gives thrift store gift cards back to the church for distribution to those who come to them in need — a win-win partnership.

Christ Church and Miracle Hill agreed on a date that would coincide with their VBS.  Miracle Hill provided yellow bags which the church then gave to the children to hand out to parishioners. The children also took bags home to be filled and returned at the end of the week. Hedrick Lewis, Director of Children’s Ministry at Christ Church said, “The kids really enjoyed doing this and thought it was a lot of fun.   They were so cute carrying big bags of home goods and then getting to throw them into the blue bin. Moms were getting rid of clutter, and the kids felt like they were helping others in our community.” In total, nearly 3,200 pounds of clothing and accessories were collected.

In addition to the Yellow Bag Project, the 4th-6th graders engaged further with Miracle Hill at the distribution warehouse and our Shepherd’s Gate shelter for women and children.  The children sorted items that were donated for the thrift stores as well as food items. “It was really neat for the kids to have a hands-on activity to see the things that come in and help get those things ready for people who need those items.  Everybody kept talking about how it was a great 360 program for our children to see that what they were putting in the yellow bags really helped people in our community,” added Hedrick.

The Yellow Bag Project is not the first time Christ Church has partnered with Miracle Hill.  Debbie Rice, Faith and Outreach Coordinator at Christ Church, said through the years the parish has served in several ways including mentoring men from the Overcomers addiction recovery program as well as providing funds for the program. The church also regularly refers people in need to Shepherd’s Gate and other Miracle Hill shelters.  “We are a downtown church and one of the closest churches to the Detention Center, so guys will come in and ask for help. Sometimes they need food or sometimes a coat in the winter,” said Rice. “And we are able to direct them to places in the community, and one of the neat things we can now do is give them a gift card from Miracle Hill so they can go to the thrift store and purchase the items they need to make them comfortable.”