The Great Donut Giveaway!

Thanksgiving... what would Thanksgiving be without the great donut giveaway... for the past 6 years we have been the official greeters at one of our local malls.

Each year we arrive early...5:30am... to greet the blackfriday shoppers. We have tables reserved inside located at each major entrance and exit. When people arrive they are greeted by our team (smiling, early morning glad to see ya people) with Krispy Kreeme donuts and Boston Stoker coffee.

This outreach is in the top ten of all outreach projects.
The matrix I use for most of the outreach projects we pull off is Len Sweets E.P.I.C.
  • Experience...are people, both the people serving and the people we serve, having a positive, uplifting experience
  • Participation.....are people, both the people serving and the people we serve, able to participate in the outreach, touch, taste, smell, read, and understand
  • Image...does the outreach produce a positive image, thus the new signs, great connect cards,smiling people, Boston Stoker Cups and Krispy Kreeme Donuts
  • Connective... does the outreach connect positively to a felt need, or does the outreach generate a sense of enjoyment and connect to both the server and the receiver.

The answer for this outreach is yes in all aspects.
  • the servers and the receivers are both having a positive experience
  • both are participating, one is giving, the other is receiving
  • the image is positive
  • our early morning serving connects to a felt need, give me the coffee, a donut ummmm don't you just love em!

Behind the scenes:
  • 1 month out we order thousands of donuts, 4 full racks and 200 dozen packed in boxes to give to all the shops in the mall area. We use the wagons to pull the donuts to each shop. Large shops receive 4 dozen, smaller shops 2 or 1 dozen depending on the size of shop
  • 3 weeks out we place the ad in our program to encourage servers to sign up, ( we need 50 people to pull off the outreach)
  • 3 weeks out we order the coffee, cups and lids
  • 1 week out we receive the coffee cups and lids, complements of Boston Stoker, great advertising for them, great coffee for us
  • 1 week out we purchase sugar, packets of coffee creamer, napkins and stirring sticks
  • 1 week out we clean our 4 wagons in order to transport the coffee to the entrance locations
  • 1 week out we clean and if necessary reorder Free Donuts! and Dayton Vineyard A pretty good church signs.
  • 3 days out we pack the wagons with signs, cups, lids, condiments, napkins, It's on Us! connect cards and name tags, sharpies etc.
  • 1 day out we celebrate Thanksgiving with family

Day of:
  • 3:30am we brew the 20 pots of coffee
  • 5:00am we load truck and head to mall
  • 5:30am we arrive at the Mall and set up stations
  • 6:00am we welcome bleary eyed yet smiling servers, give instructions and head to stations and begin to serve the people of Dayton
  • 8:30am Donuts are gone we head to the nearest breakfast place
  • 10am we unload truck and head home.

turkeys giving away turkeys

a great day...almost as planned. no major glitches. just the usual bus not running right, stickers didn't arrive as planned and no heat in the building... hey we were heading outside anyway.

great group of guys came early to repack and set up dinners for transporting to trucks then to sites. 8am the first meal arrived followed by 150 other dinners. Cars were lined up as we received delivery.

One company CEO donated 26 dinners. up from last years 12...the owner matches the workers and friends so the contribution doubled...He and his wife collect, pack and repack the dinners. At FunFest he helped me unload a wagon load of pumpkins...

a great atmosphere / vibe
people milling about, drinking coffee, first timers nervous wondering how, where, when, what

Scott led a few songs,
Doug spoke on the Whys,
I gave simple instructions.

Then we grabbed our stickers(for the door knobs to let other team members know that door had been visited) and our connect cards and headed to the three apartment sites.

Stories are now coming in.

one man was so moved, that he knelt down beside the turkey dinner when he was prayed for...a mom family was leaving home as a group of turkeys showed up to give them a family from Africa were more than emotional...

one kid, when another team knocked at the door, excitedly exclaimed, 'Mom! those good people are back!'

all in all a great way to spend the morning.


had a good day yesterday at Fairhavens church...a group of CMA, not country music award, people turning their church outward.

I spoke on creating God space...used pixars for the birds as the intro. a great 3 minute cartoon...I asked "What did you notice?" "How did the small birds react to someone who didn't look like them, act like them or fit the group?" "Which bird was the friendly open hearted bird?" I then added...It was a great way to start a new small group, nudist birds anonymous. The point the small birds were neither friendly nor inclusive. Some churches are the same. Not accepting, closed, not inviting, angry, not friendly and open hearted etc.

I told a couple of stories and defined an evangelist: is a 'friendly open hearted person'. This definition is doable. Every one, with practice, can learn to be friendly, open, warm hearted; be someone who is willing to serve and to care. An evangelist is someone who is willing to help another person take their next step toward Jesus Christ.

It was fun, up and encouraging to me. I ended with a great clip from Cincy Vineyard an interview with Dave Workman with Evan Griffin UC communications professor. The clip brought it all together.

by the way it snowed yesterday.


just had some interesting thoughts and connections this week.

One international group known for radical youth evangelism, is now developing a mercy / serving side to their ministry. I had an opportunity to pitch in some thoughts, ideas and some advice. (advice...doing the stuff for a long time tends to make advice worth listening to and if received helps people not make the same mistakes, or to reinvent the wheel.)

One church I have visited over the past many years is now moving outward. The pastor is developing a seven week series to initiate outward movement. Casting Vision is key...What would it look like if? Second...How can we create on-ramps to move people into the arena of evangelism out into our community through service?

Louis Palau is moving toward developing a serving component to the festivals they hold in major cities around the world. Check the link to Christianity Today

"The impetus for this odd harmony had been happening all summer. Season of Service united Portland-area churches around five community concerns: homelessness, the medically uninsured, public schools, hunger, and the environment. It drew 25,000 volunteers for projects civic leaders had selected." CT

Even the Salvation Army has developed a serving aspect...Actually it's being re-established...William Booth was a server of servers and a creative cultural current(at the time) creative man with passion. I'll fight day.

Soul Survivor also has been combining worship and serving for years. This months Worship Central podcast (always worth a listen) Tim and Andy(who lead worship for SS) spoke about how Worship 'aligns God's kingdom in our lives.' Soul in the City combined radical serving and passionate worship to produce a city reaching impact. Mobilizing thousands of young people In Manchester, London now on to Durban.

Aligning with God's Kingdom creates God space where God things can happen. I personally believe worship toward God and service toward people are the two sacrifices God gladly receives. It follows the commands to Love the Lord Your God with all...and Love your neighbor as yourself.

When the two commands collide, God moments are created. Heaven comes down to earth and stuff happens. In my experience Prayer (stepping out in faith by responding to God's heart for a person) seems to be the connection point as we reach out to give away what God has given us for others.
Knowing Him we can make Him known.

Heb 13:15-16
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Fast Company Article

prep for a conference workshop this a great article in FastCompany here is the article

How to Avoid Making a Bad Presentation

By: Dan Heath & Chip Heath
How to prevent bad PowerPoint from happening to good people.

Related Content

If constructing a presentation can be pure anxiety, then listening to one can be sheer agony. Both sides dread the experience. It's like a breakup talk with fewer tears and more clip art.

Poor presentations cost companies sales, damage their reputations, and waste executives' time. You may have heard people say, "Show, don't tell." In response, you obsessively surf the Web looking for the perfect image to reinforce your point. At midnight, you call over your spouse to weigh in on the choice: "Honey, which one better says 'innovation'? The bunny coming out of the magician's hat or the smiley-face guy with a lightbulb over his head?" Quick, pull out your business card: Does it say "Graphic Designer"? If not, relax. (If it does, you may continue stressing.)

We can relieve the two primary anxieties that presenters feel. First, we need to end, once and for all, the cult of clip art, as well as its splinter sect of stock photography. "Show, don't tell" doesn't mean that you add a world map to your slide about "thinking globally." That's decoration, not communication. A good idea doesn't need visual drapes. When James Carville said, "It's the economy, stupid," he didn't pause to send his direct reports out looking for pictures of dunce hats. ("Sorry, James, we couldn't find a dunce hat, but is a kid drooling on his desk 'stupid' enough?")

"Show, don't tell" can be easier than it sounds. Just bring a little reality into the room. Tom Duncan, the president of the U.S. division of Positec Power Tool Group, had a sales call last year with a key account. At the last minute, he abandoned his PowerPoint presentation, filled with a predictable homage to the virtues of his tools. Instead, he set two drills on the table -- his and his competitor's. He disassembled them side-by-side to show the durability of Positec's design. His audience's reaction to this surprising absence of PowerPoint slides? "They loved it," Duncan says, and he closed the deal.

The second killer is the presenter's need to be comprehensive. We get it: Some research went into the project, and every detail is a gem. Cutting that fifth bullet point on slide 17 is torture.

But it shouldn't be. Think about yourself as the director of a play, and you're allocating speaking parts among your main points. You can create a great monologue or a great dialogue, but if you've got 22 characters speaking, you haven't developed any of them properly. So don't think about the pain of cutting the bullet point on slide 17, focus on the extra lines given to the lead characters.

A VP of operations for a national department-store chain was leading an effort to help personnel reclaim their time from unnecessary tasks and procedures. He had plenty of examples to discuss, but in presenting his recommendations, he avoided talking about all of them. Instead, he highlighted the single most glaring example of wasted work. Kicking off his presentation, he shoved an unruly stack of paperwork across the table. Five hundred and nineteen pages of it, to be precise. Then he announced, to the horror of his supervisors: "This is two weeks' worth of the audit documentation that's required of our stores. You've all heard the phrase that the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Well, this is the road to hell." His monologue opened the door to changes that have since been implemented.

Feel better? Good. Now here's the bad news. All that anxiety you've had about finding the perfect image and fitting in all your points can now be directed toward the number-one secret of a great presentation: Before your audience will value the information you're giving, they've got to want it.

Most presenters take that desire for granted. Great presentations are mysteries, not encyclopedia entries. An online video called "The Girl Effect" starts by recounting a list of global problems: AIDS. Hunger. Poverty. War. Then it asks, "What if there was an unexpected solution to this mess? Would you even know it if you saw it? The solution isn't the Internet. It's not science. It's not government." Curious? See, it works.

(Go to for the answer.)

Curiosity must come before content. Imagine if the TV show Lost had begun with an announcement: "They're all dead people, and the island is Purgatory. Over the next four seasons, we'll unpack how they got there. At the end, we'll take questions." We've all had the experience of being in the audience as a presenter clicks to a slide with eight bullet points. As he starts discussing the first one, we read all eight. Now we're bored. He's lost us. But what if there had been eight questions instead? We'd want to stay tuned for the answers.

That concludes our reduced-anxiety presentation. Now we just need a closing graphic. Which do you like better, the giant Xanax pill or the shot of James Carville in the lotus position?

turkeys giving away turkeys

last years promo

This year is our 20th year for turkeys giving away turkeys.

Last year we adjusted the outreach in order to involve more people, create a safer environment (morning instead of after dark), create less stress (we were creating exact maps from hours of phone calls usually from the same people who were playing the system) and to create a greater sense of team (over 300 people showed up for instructions and to do the outreach last year).

here's what we have discovered:

  • people want to make a difference....this year over 300 boxes went out the first weekend in November. Yes we are ordering more.
  • people like simple...people grab a box as they leave a weekend service. The box has the instructions placed inside the box to help guide people as they purchase the food items.
  • people enjoy the sense of togetherness...We encourage participation: families packing the box together, or joining with friends, or joining as a small group to fill the box. This year we will be adding a worship set and breaking up into small groups for prayer...then introducing team leaders, and receiving instructions and maps.
  • some people like to participate but don't want to go on the outreach...that's ok, participating at any level is appreciated. The 'no go but want to serve people' will bring their filled boxes at 9am instead of 10am and placed into trucks.
  • people like the fact that we go to the areas we have consistently served in the past...we will be dividing up into three huge teams, caravaning to the location in order to reach out to 3 low income apartments in Huber Heights, Fairborn, and Centerville.
  • people like the adventure... we go to homes unannounced offer the Thanksgiving meal and offer prayer. When we leave the home we place a small sticker on the door notifying the rest of the team that the stickered door is a home we have served.
  • people who serve begin to see life through an outward focused lense...One family went to a home and offered the Thanksgiving dinner. The single mom invited the family inside to place the dinner on her table. The family noticed...all she had in her apartment was the table. Their perspective changed. Their hearts were softened through the experience and began to view life through a different lense.
Going, serving, praying = caring for others outward focused life.


wow...what a night...hundreds of vols. and a few thousand people showed up for the event. Creating a safe place for families on Halloween....the Safe Place...Experience the light... aspect paid off... time...

Sunday many new families came to visit...our Vineyard kidz had many children...and a great message from Scot on serving the poor via serving our community.

now tired...taking a week kinda off...for regrouping and heading into a busy outreach season.