COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – Rescue missions across North America have scheduled Easter events that reinforce the promise of new life for the homeless and hungry people they serve.
“The symbolism of spring and Easter are a great fit to describe the year-round outreach of rescue missions,” says Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM) President John Ashmen. “This season is associated with new life and fresh possibilities. It’s a prime time to remind people dealing with homelessness and poverty that their dark and cold season in life can transform into a season of new growth.”
But that transformation does not take place automatically, Ashmen notes. “Rescue mission leaders know that people in crisis need to be nurtured through their season of change. Events at our member missions offer the opportunity to build relationships with people in need. For those we seek to reach, a fresh start can begin with an Easter meal or an event that encourages a visit to a local rescue mission. That’s why events at this time of year are so important.”
A sampling of rescue mission Easter events taking place across the country this week demonstrates the purpose of such experiences.
Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles has scheduled a full weekend of events that celebrate the Easter promise of new life. On Good Friday, children served through the mission and its family center will receive handcrafted, personalized Easter egg baskets filled with toys and candy as part of an Easter egg hunt. That evening, the mission will host a Good Friday evening service for its guests. The next day, Union Rescue Mission will reach out to LA’s Skid Row community with a Saturday Easter Outreach featuring live musical performances, free medical checkups, foot washings, and the chance for guests to obtain clothing, shoes, snacks, hygiene items, and Bibles. The weekend of events will culminate with a sunrise Easter service on the rooftop of Union Rescue Mission’s building.
Durham Rescue Mission in North Carolina will again host its annual Easter event complete with a voluntary Easter service, a full Easter meal, and the presentation of Easter baskets to the children who attend. Last year more than 3,300 children received Easter baskets as they joined their parents and guardians in the Good Friday event.
Many civic and social organizations have “adopted” rescue mission events as viable opportunities to give back to their communities. One such group is the Boise Treasure Valley chapter of the Sea Hawkers, the Seattle Seahawks Booster Club. This year, in association with Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, they organized and staffed an annual Easter egg hunt not only for the children staying at the mission’s City Light Home for Women and Children, but also for the children of the community. This year’s event is linked to a community-wide food drive for canned food donations to support the outreach of Boise Rescue Mission.
“It’s always encouraging to see community volunteers join with rescue missions to encourage people who are hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted,” Ashmen says. “Events like these simply are not possible without the support of caring people. We are humbled and deeply grateful for our many friends in this season of new life and celebration.”
Volunteer and donation opportunities through local AGRM member rescue missions can be found at www.agrm.org/locate. Find the missions closest to you and select their individual websites for additional information.
Now in its 103rd year, AGRM has approximately 300 rescue mission members across North America. Each year AGRM members serve more than 66 million meals, provide more than 20 million nights of lodging, help more than 36,000 people find independent housing, assist some 45,000 people in finding employment, bandage the wounds of thousands of abuse victims, and graduate nearly 17,000 people from addiction recovery programs into productive living.
Rescue missions have been providing hospitality to impoverished people in America since the 1870s. They are experts at providing effective care for men, women, and children who are hungry, homeless, abused, or addicted.
AGRM is North America’s oldest and largest network of crisis shelters and rehabilitation centers, offering radical hospitality in the name of Jesus. For more information, please visit www.agrm.org.
To schedule an interview with AGRM President John Ashmen, please contact Brad Lewis, Director of Communications, at email@example.com or call (719) 266-8300, ext. 103.