Nurses at a local provider receive their box. (Photo: Norman Njihi)
Members prepare to deliver the boxes. Pictured (l-r): Pastor Rob Alfalah, Melissa Morris, Amy Son Ikpeama, Nancy Burkett, Claridge family. (Photo: Amy Ikpeama)
Two young people help deliver boxes. (Photo: Jeremy Claridge)

The St. Louis Central Church’s personal ministries team recently delivered gift boxes to local healthcare providers and other essential workplaces as a way of thanking them for their service.

The church had been looking for ways to reach out to the community during this challenging time, and the idea for the boxes came about when church members who work in a local hospital shared that they and their coworkers had been receiving free food like pizzas and donuts—gifts for which they were grateful but felt conflicted about consuming because of the negative impact such foods have on their immune systems.

So, we decided to surprise them. Nine boxes were delivered to various inpatient and outpatient medical centers in the area, including a COVID-19 unit, and another four were delivered (with the help of some of our younger members) to area skilled nursing facilities and non-medical essential workplaces.

Each box contained healthy snacks, notes of appreciation, a “thank you” poem, spiritual tracts, and fun colorful decor to brighten their day.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. The church members who work at the hospital reported back that their coworkers were grateful for the packages and have been asking questions about our church. We praise God for the warm welcome the boxes received, and we hope this will further strengthen our members’ witness in their workplaces during this unprecedented time.

The Apostle Paul often speaks of maintaining a perspective of thankfulness as an integral part of the Christian faith (e.g. Col. 2:6-7; 1 Thes. 5:16-18). As someone who gladly suffered much hardship for the cause of Christ, he saw the importance of remembering what God has done, is doing, and will do for us in all circumstances.

This project was simple, fun, cost effective, and allowed for various age groups to get involved. Sometimes, we can complicate things when it comes to outreach—thinking that it needs to be highly sophisticated or complex. We hope that our experience will encourage others to reach out and continue showing thankfulness in all things.