HELPING THE COMMUNITY
HELPING THE COMMUNITY
One of Hope Lutheran Church’s most exciting endeavors is serving as a host site for Home and Hope. This mission is embraced by our congregation members, from the very young to the well-experienced. It is truly our opportunity to live the Gospel in our ordinary, daily lives.
Home and Hope provides shelter and meals to homeless families with children in San Mateo County. The organization utilizes local houses of worship, including churches and synagogues, as rotating shelters where families eat and sleep. Families usually stay at a site for one week, then move on to the next hosting site. During the day, the children attend school, and the adults work or actively seek work. This model of caring for our homeless neighbors has successfully helped families regain long-term self-sufficiency since 2001.
Hope Lutheran Church is proud to have served as a host site since the program’s inception. We partner with two other churches (Congregational Church of Belmont and St. Ambrose Episcopal Church in Foster City) to host families about four times each year. Loving volunteers prepare and share dinner with the families, engage in fellowship with the adults, and play with the children. The Hope Quilters welcome each new guest with a warm and beautiful hand-made quilt. Hope Lutheran Church’s family also provides participants and sponsorships for “The Journey Home,” Home and Hope’s annual walk/run fundraiser.
Hope regularly supports the Samaritan House in San Mateo by participating in several of their events throughout the year. In the summer, we collect backpacks, school supplies, and gift cards for new shoes for their Back-to-School Drive, which helps local kids with essentials for starting their school year. At Christmas, we set out collection bins for the Toy and Coat Drive. We also participate in the Family Sharing Program, where we adopt families and help them purchase their Christmas meal and gifts. Our congregation is always enthusiastic to contribute to the Samaritan House’s programs.
One of our Christmas outreach programs is CALL Primrose’s Fill-A-Box program. CALL Primrose is a small food pantry based in Burlingame. Our congregation generously donates many boxes filled with groceries for preparing Christmas meals to be distributed to households in need. We also make special donations from time to time as needs arise.
We hold other ingatherings when we identify needs. For example, in honor of Mother’s Day, we donated emergency supplies to the Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA), the domestic violence prevention center in our county.
Every year, the ELCA designates a “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday as a day of service to the local community, an “opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.” We choose a service activity which both benefits our community and offers us an opportunity to explore one of our most basic convictions as Lutherans: that all of life in Jesus Christ – every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life – flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God’s grace.
Our 2016 activity: We provided and served a barbecue dinner at Samaritan House’s 90 bed homeless shelter. The clients really enjoyed the special dinner.