Sunday, December 23, 2018– oh what a time we had. A true blessing within, among and beyond. The service entitled “Be-Ing A Light to Holiday Blues” was a unique worship service and community outreach opportunity. In less than a month, members, friends, and allies of First Unitarian Church of Oakland collected too many pairs of clean/gently used or new adult-sized socks to count! The socks were wrapped in holiday paper and each package contained at least 2 pairs of socks and many packages contained 3 pairs. All total, there were 350 presents to deliver.
On Sunday, there was a brief worship service to bless the gifts. After worship, 3 teams were formed to deliver the presents. One team strolled a block away to Volunteers of America. Another hiked 2.2 miles round trip to Covenant House. A third team caravaned to the Oakland VA Clinic and traversed the streets surrounding the clinic, where there are people living in encampments. In addition to handing out the socks, it was requested by someone we met that we hold a prayer circle for individuals who were missing/grieving loved ones who recently died and one person who just had surgery.
People receiving socks were very grateful and not shy about sharing that they would appreciate hats and undershirts next year. It is a gift to know how to appropriately respond to perceived needs.
Deep thanks to all those who contributed socks, to those who were able to participate in distributing the socks, and those who offered prayers. We can all be a bright light of hope in a hungry and hurting world.