Thank You for a Great Christmas of Outreach!

A volunteer washes the feet of one of our homeless friends during our Christmas outreach.

Wow! We want to thank you for supporting the Rescue Mission during the Holiday Season. We have some great news to report.

First, you helped us meet our $15,000 matching grant challenge. We know times are hard for many, please know this support will help the poorest members of our community this winter. Thank you!

Second, your support helped us have an incredible and safe Christmas outreach to our homeless friends. We partnered with Operation Care International on December 19 to hold our Christmas Banquet for the Homeless and then gave out 800 pairs of new socks and boots (along with foot washings) to those who came to our door. Our efforts here in Salt Lake were mirrored in 75 countries and 22 states as part of Operation Care International’s birthday party for Jesus. And, in addition to clean feet wrapped in warm socks and boots, our homeless friends were able to enjoy a curbside Christmas meal of glazed ham with all the trimmings.

In one interaction, a homeless woman who has lived a life of neglect and disrespect on the streets, told one of our foot washers that she had never had her feet washed before. The volunteer told her that he had never washed someone’s feet before. The volunteer on his knees in a humble position before her looked up and shared “This will be the first time for both of us” and proceeded to untie her tattered shoes.

When the volunteer finished, they both stood up and spontaneously hugged each other and started weeping together. It was an awesome display of the power of love and compassion that impacted both their lives and everyone who saw it.

Another blessing happened in the lead-up to our banquet. The New Life Program man who leads our kitchen came to the Mission staff in a panic. We did not have enough hams to meet the number of meals we expected to serve during our Christmas curbside banquet. Our staff told the kitchen leader to trust God and pray that He would provide. Within the hour, one of our of key community partners, Hillside Tire and Service, showed up at our door with a generous donation of hams. The program member ran back into the staff office exuberantly saying “someone is outside donating hams”!

A third special part of December was that we were able to continue the outreach we started in November to the homeless camps spread around the Salt Lake Valley. For our Christmas outreach on December 19, we delivered over 600 meals to members of the homeless community who aren’t coming into shelters for fear of contracting coronavirus (among other reasons).

As a ministry, we don’t support homeless camping. However, our goal in blessing these homeless campers with fresh, hot prepared meals is to build relationships with them, in hopes that when they are ready to leave the streets, they will seek our help at the Rescue Mission.

Thank you so much for helping to support all this great Christmas ministry. As always, we will continue to need your help in 2021 to ensure our homeless friends have a place to come for hot meals, safe shelter, warm clothes, and help off the streets and into faith, housing, and employment. Please continue to pray for us and give as you are able and know that your gifts are making a difference and helping to restore broken lives.

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