ACS of Love Serves Victims of Domestic Violence

Adventist Community Services (ACS) of Love, a ministry of the Moses Lake (Wash.) Church, provides a unique service to the New Hope Domestic Violence Shelter. Most families fleeing domestic violence leave with only the clothes on their back. So the church creates "Bags of Love" to provide love and comfort for children who are feeling displaced and fearful.

"Bags of Love," produced during monthly sewing bees, are made from material donated to this ministry. Each bag includes a tied-fleece pillow and blanket, a coloring book and crayons, paper tablet and pencil, a pencil sharpener, a book, a toy, a stuffed animal or hand puppet, a doll (for girls' bags) and a game the family can play together. On every "Bag of Love" is a handwritten message to the child: "God loves you!"

When a mom and family are ready to relocate to a place of their own, much is needed to set up housekeeping again. This is where ACS of Love's New Beginnings program fits. They provide furnishings, hygiene items, linen, bedding, appliances and housewares to those moms located in Grant County but outside Moses Lake city limits (where they receive assistance through Serve Moses Lake).

"It is a very rewarding experience to walk into a new apartment that has absolutely nothing … [and] bring them everything they need, help them set it all up, take out the rubbish from the boxes and wrapping, and leave them with a hug, a prayer and a blessing, and, of course, in tears," says Patricia Wride, ACS of Love director. "What a gift of love and a 'New Beginning.'"