"What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” - Saint Augustine
Loving and serving our community are long-held values at Ascension. I want to highlight a few of the ways these happen, to celebrate the wonderful outreach we provide, and invite you to participate.
Feeding at Austin Street Center: At Austin Street Center, clients can access emergency housing and much-needed hope for a plan and a path forward. Quarterly, Ascension provides lasagnas to feed 400 men and women. Volunteers are always needed to supply and cook lasagnas and to serve. You can read more about our Lasagna drive here.
Water for Sandbranch: Another quarterly offering, Ascension collects and delivers water to Sandbranch, Texas, a community in south Dallas with no direct access to clean water. We strive to be part of the short-term solution while advocating for long-term solutions. Learn more about our August water drive here.
Annual Backpack Donations for KidsU and Food Pantry Kids: Each year, Ascension has assisted KidsU by providing funds for the purchase of backpacks for students in our community. We also provide backpacks to kids from our Food Pantry clients. You can read more here and donate.
Other opportunities are ongoing.
Elaine Kadane Food Pantry: This ministry provides direct support for people experiencing food insecurity and is located in the Youth and Outreach Center, Through our pantry, we also purchase food on a regular basis for Tasby Middle School. Tasby is located in the Vickery Meadow area just south of Ascension. A large number of refugees, particularly from Asian countries live in the area and their needs are great. DISD contacted Ascension to help establish a food pantry on-site so that children could take food home on the weekends. Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month our faithful volunteers collect, sort, and distribute food to many. Pantry staples are also available anytime the office is open to help meet immediate needs. We offer a variety of ways to help, from picking up food from Sharing Life one Saturday a month to purchasing items from the Amazon wishlist. Fresh vegetables from our Community of Hope Garden also enhance this wonderful ministry.
Blessing Bags: Available every Sunday in the Narthex, these are a youth-sponsored ministry bags and are designed to give to those we encounter in need. They are packed with essential items, including snacks, water, and toiletry products. For many years, we assembled and offered them periodically. Starting last year, we determined they were such a far-reaching ministry that we should always make them available. Our youth are involved with Beyond distributing these bags, your contributions to the Outbound fund help support this ministry.
More can be said about each of these ministries. Instead, I’ll encourage your participation. If you’re curious about where you can plug in, I hope you’ll ask others from Ascension about their experiences with these ministries. Their witness will only add to the appeal. Our outreach efforts are, to a large extent, what we mean when we use our tagline, “Love Lives Here.”