Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2013, 6:00 am

View from QCA: Thanks, Q-C neighbors

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By Sharon DeFrieze

Thank you, Quad-Cities!

Christian Care is grateful to each individual in our community who is making a financial donation, volunteering, or providing some service that benefits others.

We know full well that if it weren't for caring and generous donors and volunteers, we would cease to exist.

Every day we hear heartbreaking stories about why people are homeless -- stories of job loss, a parent dying at a young age, an unresolved physical or mental disability, alcoholism or drug abuse, parental abandonment, domestic abuse, and so on.

However troublesome these stories may be, the men, women and children we serve soon learn by sharing their stories with us, that Christian Care exists not only to provide immediate relief from hunger, homelessness and abuse but also to help them transform their lives so that they never have to be hungry, homeless or abused again.

Our mission states that "By providing safe shelter, support and resources, Christian Care empowers both the homeless and survivors of domestic violence to make positive changes in every aspect of their lives;" it is at the forefront of what we do every day.

This is no easy task.

Yet, as a nonprofit organization that thrives on public and private support, we must focus on impact, not intention.

We have a responsibility to continually evaluate our mission against the activities and outcomes of what we provide.

As a result of the donations we received in 2012, 80 percent of our residential men found work; only 2 percent of our residential women returned to their abusers; we served almost 60,000 meals to the hungry in our community; and we provided over 16,000 bed nights.

In-kind donations provided much-needed items like glasses, bus tickets, gift cards, medicine, clothing, toys, gifts on special holidays, additional meals, and so on. Volunteers gave generously of their time to provide haircuts for residents, make repairs, organize our clothing room, teach a wide variety of educational workshops, and share the word of God. Treasure, time, and talent -- each has been generously given by our Quad-Cities neighbors.

First Corinthians says, "Three things will last forever -- faith, hope, and love -- and the greatest of these is love." Quad-Cities, it is because of your love for others that Christian Care is able to continue providing hope and healing to those who suffer. We thank you and look forward to partnering with you in the year ahead.
Sharon DeFrieze is board president of Christian Care.