AnchorPointe Gives a Gift to the Community

Anyone who lives in the Puget Sound area will know that “vacant retail space” has been a prominent feature of the economic recession. After searching in vain for a mall or department store that would allow church members to provide free gift-wrapping as an outreach to the community, AnchorPointe decided to lease an empty storefront across the street from the office space where they worship. Then, what was originally intended to be a weekend “Kindness Event” Dec. 14 and 15, turned into a 10-day run of the most meaningful outreach some had ever participated in.

Not only did volunteers provide free gift-wrapping for Christmas shoppers, but they served free hot drinks, played live and recorded Christmas music, provided a public restroom and baby-changing station, and created a place for kids to play and parents to rest away from the hustle and bustle of the streets. Those who were waiting for their gifts to be wrapped or enjoying hot drinks, could enter a free drawing, view a miniature nativity and three angels display, or read paraphrased Bible texts posted on the walls.

Decked in service aprons and Santa Claus hats, volunteers also visited some of the businesses along Fourth Avenue and asked the managers to hand out coupons advertising AnchorPointe’s free services to their customers. Businesses participating were Abercrombie and Fitch, The Carriage Rides, Sharper Image, Cameras West, Dahlia Bakery, Ralph’s Grocery, and Rite Aid. Valet parking attendants and bellmen from a nearby hotel also handed out coupons as did Ambassadors from the City of Seattle, who walk the streets offering tourists information such as store locations and directions.

There are so many opportunities to connect with people and to show God’s love in practical ways! And now the old Harley Davidson shop has been cleaned up and made ready for use by the owners–yet one more way in which church members were able to demonstrate God’s love. •

March 01, 2003 / Washington Conference