Turkeys Giving Away Turkeys

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 four huge teams, caravaning to the location in order to reach out to four low income apartments in Beavercreek, Huber Heights, Fairborn, and Centerville.
• people like the adventure... we go to homes unannounced, present 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 externally focused lens...

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 lens.

Going, serving, praying = caring for others ...an externally focused life.

Here's what happened last year.

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 'not going on the outreach' 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 dinners, so the contribution doubled...He and his wife collect, pack and repack the dinners.

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 wept...one family was leaving home as a group of turkeys showed up to give them a meal...one family from Africa were more than emotional...

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

Here's the packing list:

Thanks so much for helping to make Thanksgiving possible for the less-served of our community!

This year’s date for Turkeys Giving Away Turkeys is Saturday, November 21st. We will meet at Beavercreek Campus at 10am and join team leaders to head out to 4 different locations: Beavercreek, Huber Heights, Fairborn, and Centerville.

How to participate: Join together as family, friends, or a small group to fill up the box with items listed below.

Turkey’s Giving Away Turkey’s List.
• 2 Cans Corn
• 2 Cans Green Beans
• 1 Large Can Yams
• 1 Can Cranberry Sauce
• 1 Box Au Gratin Potatoes
• 1 Box Brownies
• 2 Boxes Mac and Cheese
• 1 Dinner Bag Rolls
• 1 Box Stuffing Mix
• 1 FROZEN Turkey

• 1 Pie
• Fresh Veggies
• Roasting Pan
• Fun Stuff

Important Instructions:
If you are going on the outreach...
Please leave your dinner box in your car and come into our main room for instructions.

Not going on the outreach and you only want to participate by filling a turkey dinner box...Please drop the filled box off at the Vineyard at 9amish.

traveling food pantry

We've inherited a new food pantry on wheels. Each week we pick up a couple of tons of food, pack bags and head out to locations dotted about Dayton. 1st Saturday of the month Fairborn, 2nd week Beavercreek, 3rd Saturday Huber Heights, 4th Thursday Dayton Food Pantry. So far it's been a blast. People are more than encouraged by the amount and quality of the food. The Hope Foundation is the covering non-profit that we recently inherited.

Each week volunteers help sort, prepare menus and bag the food. Each person on average receives 3 bags of food plus perishable meat items, or cheese items.
A couple of weeks ago we were able sing happy birthday to a mom and her daughter.

Prayer times have been interesting. The poor of our cities are always open for prayer. What's left for them to rely on?

Externally Focused people believe that good deeds, creates good will, that opens hearts to the good news. In my experience this is a true statement.

I prayed for a guy named Red, 47 years old, is a pastor's son who has been running from God for many years. The prayer was moving as Red wept as he was touched by God's hand.

Another lady had just worked double shifts, popped in for the groceries and received prayer. She was visibly moved and thankful.

God Space in CO

Recently i was able to attend LifeServe Conference in CO. I traveled with my friend Doug Pollock author of his new book God Space. Almost every time we travel together God Space is created.

We drove up into the mountains, stopped on top over 12,000 feet, on a balmy 65 degree day. Breath taking view. We then headed down the mountain. We were on a mission looking for Elk.

At the bottom of the mountain we turned right onto a dirt road and noticed several parked cars. People were watching a small herd. The big boy was guarding his cows and the wanna be bucks were in the next field.

When we parked, we walked over to a small group of rocks and noticed 5 people. Two men were taking photos through long telephoto lenses.

Doug asked if he could have a look through the camera. After a few minutes of casual banter Doug mentioned that he had a elk head on his wall in his log home in Ohio.

The ladies exclaimed, 'You didn't shoot it did you!?'

Doug replied, 'Nope I'm an author and speaker and I received the trophy as part of my honorarium.'

One guy asked, 'What kind of books do you write?' Doug replied, 'I write books that help Christians share their faith with others in a non-belligerent manner. Have you ever known an obnoxious person who burns their bridges while attempting to share their faith?'

Another man instantly stated, 'Fred!, boy he does. He used to be a Catholic and for some reason went to a fundamentalist church and "met Jesus" he came home locked his wife in their bedroom and told her she was going to hell if she didn't change her faith. He's like that all the time now. No one wants to be around him.'

A discussion began. We discussed Catholic faith; how Fred should act; what true faith looks like etc. I mentioned I went to Catholic boarding school and prayed the Act of Contrition often. That the prayer is for really bad people.

One of the guys who was in the discussion pipped up. 'I write books for kids. I used to be a contractor and built children's hospitals and developed a heart for sick kids.

My books are unique, there are wild life photos, a place where kids can color and each book has a space where the kids parents or guardians can write the kids name in the story as they read the book. I read the book to a girl and she wanted it read over and over.

The goal of the book is to help kids through their hospital stay. I don't know why I write these books. I invested $10k of my own money.'

Doug then spoke to the man and said, 'The reason you are writing kid books is because the compassion of Jesus is in your heart and your are compelled to make a difference in kids lives.'

Doug calls this a God hunch. Just knowing in his knower this was what God wanted him to say.

The man begins to weep. Later, he gave us one of his books and thanked us for the conversation.

Turns out the man is a practicing Catholic.

The God Space conversation about how a Catholic turned fundamentalist now made sense. This author was on God's heart that day. Our natural friendly interaction with the small group created God Space where God things happened.

We commented we wish we could have filmed the flow of the interaction.

Clues to creating God Space.
  • Being a friendly open hearted person. Step out of yourself. Smile. Take an interest in people.
  • Noticing. We noticed:: Elk, cameras, guys taking photos. A sense of God's leading.
  • Allow the conversation to flow naturally.
  • Ask good questions.
  • Share your God hunch.(one ear listening to people, your heart listening to God's Spirit.)

By the way the other people who were in the group were from Hamilton Ohio and attended the Hamilton Vineyard.

What are the odds?
  • We'd be at the right place at the right time.
  • Two authors met.
  • I, a Vineyard person would meet other Vineyard people in the middle of no where.
  • A man was encouraged and was touched by the Holy Spirit.

It's creating God space where God things can happen.

Food Pantry Hope Project Scotts up date

This last Saturday was a blast...we went to 5 Points Elementary then on to Garland Apartments. 490 bags of groceries plus cheese, meat, eggs, salad, and bread. All were very grateful that we showed up. Garland was like going into a third world country. The hotel looking apartments were lived in by primary white poor. Hope was offered. Scott's line we prayed that you'd show up...Their reply...we prayed you'd be here we have nothing. Great servers joined and helped us work the bugs out of the food delivery system.

The VIneyard recently developed a partnership with The Hope Foundation. To better understand that relationship, check out the link to their web site…

We will be picking up a shipment of 2,000 to 3,400 lbs. (2-4 skids!) of food EVERY WEEK from the Food Bank in Dayton. Our pick-up is scheduled for Wednesday, 3:15 PM. It takes about an hour to load, then we’ll return to the Vineyard about 4:45 PM for unloading (although this week our pick up is Friday morning at 10:30 AM).

Here is the basic rhythm of the schedule, thus far…

1st Saturday of the month, 11:00 AM, serving families at Fairborn Primary School. Secondary delivery at Garland Apts. to give away any remaining food. Bagging the food will be done Wednesdays 5:30-7:30 PM at the Vineyard Pantry. We prefer to NOT bag it on Saturday morning if possible. (Having it pre-bagged is honoring to the families we are serving, versus having them bag it themselves at the point of distribution, and it also prevents a time crunch on Saturday if we are short on volunteers.) Meet at 10:00 AM at the Vineyard in Beavercreek and go from there. Or you can just show up at Fairborn Primary to serve. Please let us know you will be there for our planning purposes! Thanks!
Lisa and Elom helping load our shipment from the Food Bank. They are hard workers!

2nd Wednesday of the month food pick up will be used to stock our Beavercreek and Dayton Pantries, bagged Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 PM at the Vineyard Pantry.

3rd Saturday, 11:00 AM distribution at Camp Fire USA at 4301 Powell Road off Troy Pike in Huber Heights. Same bagging strategy/Wednesdays at 5:30 PM. Meet at 10:00 AM at the Vineyard in Beavercreek and go from there, or just show up at Camp Fire to serve!

4th Thursday, 8:00-11:30 AM, distribution to 125 families at our Dayton Campus Pantry. Same bagging strategy/Wednesdays at 5:30 PM. This could be packed in the morning at the Dayton Campus if necessary. We may mix it up between the 1st and 3rd weeks depending on the need at each location and our stock.

Keep in mind it is possible for this schedule to shift a bit, due to the fact that some months may have five Wednesdays and only four Saturdays… Yes, it is possible… September has five Wednesdays, only four Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays!

Our Beavercreek Campus Pantry acts as our warehouse. It’s open from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Monday through Friday. (The church is open until 4:30 PM M-F.) To have volunteers there after hours can be arranged, but you can’t just show up at this point and expect that someone will be there. It needs to be scheduled. Elom Dossa, our Loving People Pastoral Assistant, is working on a schedule…

In that several people have expressed interest in serving after-hours... We are developing a team of 15 people to help bag the groceries on Wednesdays at 5:30 PM. Contact Elom to be on the team.
Volunteers include The Vineyard Church (Beavercreek and Dayton Campuses), The Biltmore and Dayton Christian/RUGBY and The Hope Foundation! What a group!

There is also an interesting and fun challenge. We are considered a “nine meal” pantry. What that means is that we are required, by the Food Bank, to distribute food in “nine meal” increments. A “meal” can be as simple as a box of cereal. Or, it can be as substantial as a box of cereal, a carton of milk and two cans of fruit cocktail. Both are considered one “meal.”

In the same manner, one or two cans of beef stew can be considered a meal. Or, you can add a box of crackers, three cans of green beans and a cake mix. Still considered one meal.

Larger families (5+) receive a double portion.

We are inventorying all the food and will have printouts available to use for meal planning. Once meals are planned, we can bag them. It’s best to set up an assembly line with a handful of people and do it one shot.

Each week the inventory will be different and the meals planned and bagged.

For the week that we keep the food to stock our Beavercreek Pantry, we will still pre-bag it and shelve it for distribution there. Any inventory that is not given away from one week to the next can be taken to any of the other points of distribution (primarily our Dayton Campus where the need is always huge.)

We could use a couple extra sets of hands to help us load the food every Wednesday at 3:15 at the Food Bank downtown. It only took Steve and I an hour to do the pick up. Unloading at the Vineyard back in Beavercreek is not difficult. (But we could begin bagging as soon as we return…)

Elom doing the registration!
One additional requirement is that each family fills out a half-sheet form with basic address and family info. This is true for everyone who receives food from us (via The Hope Foundation.) It is not cumbersome or intrusive, although it does as for their household income. No ID is required though.

Please bear with us as we develop a system around the massive amount of food God is providing. We want to have a system in place, so when you show up, there is work to be done. The main needs are bagging on Wednesdays and help with distribution on 1st and 3rd Saturdays. Scott, Steve, Elom, David Anderson and a couple of key volunteers already in place are handling the meal planning.

Shelves at the Pantry almost always need a little stocking and TLC though! Stock often needs restacked...

Just so you have it, here is our POC (Pastor on Call) schedule. The POC works in the Pantry in Beavercreek from 10-2, as I mentioned before.

Monday Hal Hester hhester@daytonvineyard.com
Tuesday Steve Bowen ssbowen@daytonvineyard.com (yes, it is ss)
Wednesday Scott Sliver ssliver@daytonvineyard.com
Thursday Rebecca Holihan rholihan@daytonvineyard.com
Friday David Anderson danderson@daytonvineyard.com

To speak with the POC working in the Pantry on any given day, simply call 937-427-1912 and ask for the Pastor on Call. They will put you through to the Pantry extension (10 AM to 2 PM only).

If you would like to be on the schedule to serve at the Pantry, contact Elom at edossa@daytonvineyard.com.

I hope this helps as you think through your schedule and availability to serve.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

“I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you…” Romans 1:8