Naivete at The Mission

When I went to work at Union Mission back in January, everyone sort of chuckled at my inexperience in Mission work (some might call it naivete...and they would be right.)

Their source of merriment was my contention that I was excited for the fall, when pretty much every day is critical to the success of our food giveaways, coat giveaways, benefit concerts, holiday mailings, etc. A lot of that stuff is generated from the development and marketing department where I work. My attitude was "bring it on."

"Be careful what you pray for," the saying goes. No kidding. The pace is picking up here at The Mission, and that means a lot of work ahead.

But you know what? It also means a lot of opportunity. And for that, I'm excited.

Here's a rundown of things coming up this weekend:

Saturday: Coat Giveaway
This has become our first big event at The Mission each year. We collect coats starting in August, then sort them, hang them and give them away to our guests. Our guys at Union Mission Crossroads and the Union Mission Foundations program, along with the women and children at Brookside Family Life Center get first crack, then we invite our guests from Union Mission Family Services to get what they and their children need to stay warm this winter.

Saturday: Blessed Sacrament's annual Cardboard City
A special shout-out to Michelle Patterson, who works with the youth at Blessed Sacrament in South Charleston. She invited us back in the summer to participate in their event, which helps educate their young people about extreme poverty and homelessness. I'll be speaking at the event and participating in a Q&A afterward.

Sunday: Brown paper bag inserts
Do you get the Sunday Gazette-Mail? If so, keep an eye out for brown paper bags with our signature wefeedpeople.com logo; inside, you'll find some information about our Thanksgiving dinner and how you can help.

Sunday: Jeremy Camp's "Speaking Louder Than Before"
Christian recording artist Jeremy Camp is in town, along with Natalie Grant and Bebo Norman, to put on a concert at the Municipal Auditorium. Tickets are going fast, so get 'em now! Oh, and make sure you bring a canned good with you...we'll have a collection site just outside the entrance as well as a booth set up inside to share The Mission with you. We've also been invited to come onstage and tell the audience a little about what we do here at Union Mission.

Sunday: Bethany Baptist Church's Missions Conference
Bethany Baptist has been a wonderful partner to Union Mission over the years, and we're excited to participate in their upcoming Missions Conference. Union Mission President and CEO, Rex Whiteman, is the keynote speaker for their Sunday festitivies.

(I'll say this much: I'm no longer naive at how busy Mission work can be.)