See the Face of God

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GOD’S WORK OUR HANDS, gave our congregation, First Lutheran in Bismarck, ND, a unique way to “See the face of God.” Leslee Webb, LSW and School Social Worker at South Central High School in Bismarck spoke to our congregation about a service project we asked to be involved in. Homeless youth in the Bismarck/Mandan area are in real need of basic need items to keep clean and healthy so they can feel good about themselves, especially when they decide to begin attending school after dropping out for one reason or another. Leslee Webb told of over 200 young adults who came to her last year asking for items such as a toothbrush and tooth paste, shampoo, deodorant, towels, wash cloths, and other personal hygiene items because they were homeless, living in a car, or couch surfing. Leslee began by purchasing some of these items herself, however, the need was so great she had to turn just as many away. She needed to find another way to help these young people, thus began what we called, “The Duffle Bag Project.”  Duffle Bags were requested as one of the most helpful item.  Having a duffle bag to carry around in school would hide their personal hygiene items so other students would think they were carrying their gym bag and would not judge or tease them. First Lutheran had the privilege to help these students continue their education by supplying these basic needs items. To name a few,

121 brushes and combs

102 toothbrushes

99 tooth pastes

55 towel washcloth sets

48 bottles of shampoo

68 hats, gloves and scarves

4 coats

6 blankets

132 school supply items

Many many miscellaneous items – 976 items in all.God's Work Our Hands

Volunteers sorted and packed these items in plastic tubs and delivered them to South Central where we found empty shelves needing to be replenished. Leslee was overjoyed to see what First Lutheran had collected and said, “Now when I have a young person come for help I will be able to say, “Yes, we can help, come with me.”

Like a 10 year old boy from Whittier, California said, “It feels good to give!” As these bags are given to the neediest of the young people in our community, each one of them receiving will see the face of God and His Work through Our Hands.

Submitted by:  Robin Wagner (First Lutheran, Bismarck)

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Posted in In Mission Together