“Slim” sometimes sits in front of Impact! Church. He usually stares into space, rarely talks to anyone and almost always mumbles to himself. At one time “Slim” was an attorney from up North with a 6-figure salary, nice home and a promising career. A series of traumatic experiences back-to-back left him shell-shocked and mentally unstable. For the last 10 years he has been one of Lakeland’s regular homeless residents – living on the streets in whatever shelter, bush or box he can find. He prefers to be by himself and never – to my knowledge – has stayed overnight in a shelter. Even with the temperatures for Lakeland this week dipping into the low 30s, “Slim” will stay outside. He’s not the only one – there will be several dozen of Impact!’s homeless neighbors that will choose to stay outdoors during these very cold nights.
On cold nights like this week, a group of Impact! Church volunteers will walk the Parker Street neighborhood most of the night taking blankets, sleeping bags, canned food and hot coffee to our homeless friends that prefer not to come in to sleep. We will also have 30-50 people staying in our church overnight trying to stay warm. They need blankets, food and hot coffee also.
Rarely does a week go by that I don’t have someone ask me how they can help Impact! Church help others. This is one of those opportunities that you can make a difference. With the impending cold weather – and with Lakeland having record cold already – our supplies are depleted. We would be grateful in receiving the following items:
- Sleeping bags
- Large packs, bags or cans of ground coffee
- Cans of Vienna Sausage
- Cans of Beanie Weenies
- Bottled water
- Styrofoam coffee cups
This is not a huge list, but these items can have a HUGE impact on the lives of people in the Parker Street community this week. If you can donate any of these supplies, please bring them to Impact! Church, (618 North Massachusetts Avenue – Lakeland, FL 33801) someone will always be there to receive them. If you would prefer to make a financial donation to help, you can give securely online by going to https://impactchurchlakeland.cloverdonations.com/general-budget . All donations are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated. If you have questions or need further information, please feel free to call or text me (863-606-8323).
Thank you in advance for partnering with Impact! Church to love God, love people and make an impact!