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Give-away Sunday in Kelowna

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It’s not often that you find things being given away for free – things such as a wheelchair or a patio table and chair set or racks of clothes of all sizes, all in good or working condition. You may ask, “Is this for real?” But on a bright Sunday in mid-July it was indeed a reality when the Rutland Community Services hosted a Give-Away Day to which the community was invited.

Advertising in local newspapers plus word-of-mouth advertising by clients who had benefitted from ACS (Adventist Community Services) in the past made the event a huge success!

You may ask, “How did such an event come to be?” When Thelma Davis, ACS Leader for the past 25 years, announced her retirement this past year, it was decided that this might be the opportune time to change the focus and direction of Community Service to better meet the needs of the community since many of our services were being duplicated by other charities and businesses.

Under Thelma’s able leadership, hundreds of individuals were helped with clothing, furniture and appliances. Close friendships were formed and almost 20 individuals joined the Rutland SDA church through the years.

But the time has come to change direction and reach out to the community in new and innovative ways! Then what to do with the multitude of things on the shelves and racks and in the storage unit? The only solution was to give it all away – for FREE!

Early morning on Give-Away Sunday found the young adults of the Rutland Church carting and hauling and lugging boxes of goods and racks of clothes to the parking lot where the event was to take place. People began converging on site before the appointed 8:00 am starting time. They couldn’t believe that there weren’t any price tags on any of the items! Excitement was definitely in the air!

As friends and acquaintances of ACS found out that a change was coming, their curiosity was piqued and they wanted to know “what’s next?” We were able to share with them our plans for expanding our offerings to the community: limited clothing distribution will continue but only for tiny tots; “Bags of Love” and “Bundles of Joy” are already in full swing; the third annual HEALTH EXPO was held this year which provides a complete health screening for registrants and offers a spot for local health vendors and businesses to display their wares; post partum counseling is already in progress; health and nutrition classes need to be initiated; computer and ESL classes are in the planning stage; and the list of possibilities goes on and on!

Give-away Sunday in Kelowna

We in the Rutland Church look forward with keen anticipation to the dawning of a new day in Community Services. In following Christ’s example, we want to “mingle with those in our community as one who desires their good; show our sympathy for them; minister to their needs; and win their confidence.” Who knows what might happen after that?

As for Thelma Davis, she’ll still be involved in the “new” Community Services. To many past clients, she was the one to give them a hug or a listening ear when things were tough or to provide them with just the article of clothing or furniture that they needed. May we all have that same spirit of compassion as we minister to those around us! 

Donna Rose, Communications Secretary, Rutland SDA Church, Kelowna

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