November 2012 Vol.

2 Issue 3

The Outreach
Reaching out with care to our community since 1996 A Quarterly Publication of Mission Community Outreach Center

Parents’ Christmas Shopping Event December 14th and 15th
Mission Community Outreach Center will be transformed from a free clothing bank into a new clothing store for its 2012 Parents’ Christmas Shopping Event to be held at our Outreach Center December 14th and 15th. Parents may come to our Center between 3-7 pm, December 14th or 12-4 pm, December 15th to shop for a new article or outfit of clothing for their children ages newborn through 13 years old. Parents will be warmly greeted by one of our personal shoppers who will help them select the clothing items and provide them with two pairs of new underwear and an ageappropriate book for their child. We’ll even gift wrap the items so parents can place them directly under the tree when they arrive back home. Our initial goal was to provide 750 individual gifts to children this year, but thanks to the skill of our frugal shoppers and the generosity of several donors, we anticipate we’ll be able to provide even more gifts. Please contact us at 509-536-1084 if you’d like to support this wonderful annual event that will touch the lives of so many children in our community at Christmastime.

Thank you to the West Spokane County Chapter of Thrivent Financial , First Presbyterian Church, and Redeemer Lutheran Church for their generous contributions to our event!

It was already dark and it wasn’t long before we would be finished with our special Christmas gift event last December. We had experienced a busy day, to say the least. I was by the front door doing my best to keep the warm air in and at the same time trying to help our clients know that they were still welcome to come in. She drove up in a 20 year old sedan and asked what we were doing. “I was across the street getting five dollars of gas and I saw your lights on and the sign by the street” she said. “What’s going on?” I explained that we were offering Christmas gifts of clothing to those who needed them for their children. “Really, really?” she asked. She came in and was thrilled to find new jeans and a couple of other items for her three boys. As I helped her carry her wrapped gifts out the door she explained that her husband had developed a health condition that kept him from working. So now she had to give him extra care and she also had to take on a bigger responsibility in caring for the boys. She had a job and was also taking night classes hoping to be able to get a better paying job. Until she stopped that afternoon at Mission Community Outreach Center she had no idea how or where she would get Christmas gifts for her Bob Fisher Board President boys. “I’m doing everything I can to stay off welfare. This is such a big help to us. Thank you so much!” That’s when tears filled her eyes. That’s when tears filled my eyes. Stories like this from last year’s Christmas gift event are commonplace at Mission Community Outreach Center. Our local economy has a long way to go before we see relief for the unemployed and the underemployed. We are here to help sooth some of the pain being experienced by individuals and families. Think about it: Five dollars of gas is all she could afford as Christmas approached. How grateful she was that we were there to help. “Really, really?” she asked. Great plans are in the works to provide Christmas gifts of new clothing again this year. No toys, just new clothes. If you’d like to help give someone a “Really, really?” moment, please give us a call at 536-1084 to ask how you might help. We’ll gladly accept gifts of new clothes or a financial donation, and if you are able we’d love to have new volunteers step forward. On another note I also want to update you on an exciting step our Board of Directors has recently taken. A year ago last summer we hired Mark Kinney as our Executive Director on a part time basis. Recently our Board of Directors unanimously voted to extend an offer to Mark to be our full time Executive Director beginning October 1 st. We are thrilled that he has accepted. Mark’s full time leadership will enable us to be much more effective in our community. Give Mark a call to congratulate him and ask him how you can be part of this great team working hard every day to help others. I am especially thankful for your partnership with us as we strive to make a difference in the lives of people around us. God bless us and be with us in all that we do together!
Bob Fisher,

Five Dollars Worth of Gas

Board President

Cardboard Box City event raises awareness, funds to combat homelessness
Mission Community Outreach Center joined Family Promise of Spokane and Shalom Ministries to present Cardboard Box City, a homelessness awareness event, on October 12, 2012 on the grounds of Highland Park United Methodist Church. 16 youth and adults collected pledges and spent the night in cardboard homes to simulate the Pastor Tim Brandt of Beautiful Savior Lutheran homeless experience. The event Church looks snug in his also included moving personal improvised shelter testimonies from current and formerly homeless individuals and from those serving the homeless in our community. Our participants had to contend with the elements, just as the homeless do on a daily basis. Spokane had been without rain for 52 days before our event, until a light but persistent rain began to fall after midnight. The majority of our campers emerged warm and dry from their shelters and said they enjoyed the experience. Several participants were overheard at breakfast planning their box designs for next year! Great thanks go to all who participated and to those who sponsored them. Thanks also to Viren & Associates and Lydig Construction for underwriting the event publicity and t-shirts.

Back to School Shoe Event provides 541 new pair of shoes and socks
A busy summer at our Outreach Center culminated in our Back to School Shoe Event where we distributed 541 pairs of new school shoes and socks in a busy five-hour period on August 24th. Thanks to all who helped make that great event happen, particularly our planning committee consisting of, Mary Scheppel, Becky Lucke, and Judy Indorf; great job, ladies! Thanks also to the 27 volunteers, many of whom worked five hours non-stop personally fitting every pair of shoes on the feet of lucky children while grateful parents watched. Finally, we extend tremendous thanks Our Outreach Center became a to the donors that provided the bustling shoe store for a day actual shoes, particularly the North Spokane County Chapter of Thrivent Financial and the Kohl’s Associates in Action program that also supplied event volunteers. Whether you donated shoes, contributed funds, or volunteered at the event, please know that you made a difference in the lives of many local children. What could be more satisfying?

Volunteer Spotlight: Lynda and Jerry Key
Two things are certain when you meet Lynda and Jerry Key— Lynda will greet you with a warm smile and Jerry will ask you where you went to high school. There’s another thing that’s certain about this dynamic duo; they are a blessing to Mission Community Outreach Center! Lynda began volunteering here in 2001 through a friend who knew our founder, Walt Shields, and she later brought in Jerry. But he’s not the only person she’s brought in, not by a long shot! Over the years, Lynda has cultivated a crew of hardworking people, starting with two close friends, that has grown into close knit group that volunteers here Thursday mornings. Our Thursday morning crew of ladies is a powerhouse, largely thanks to Lynda’s efforts, although she would almost surely defer the credit. Lynda is also a board member and Jerry volunteers with our great Monday afternoon crew. Along with other talented men, Jerry built the majority of our sturdy display racks and shelving. Lynda says she loves the friendships she has made here and Jerry loves to see the smiles on the faces of our clients. “God places us where He wants us in the community,” Lynda said. Lynda and Jerry, we are truly thankful He brought you to us!

Client Spotlight: Crystal
We were impressed when we first met Crystal this summer. She realized her new neighbors who had just arrived in America from Kenya needed more clothing, so she went to her church for help. Pilgrim Lutheran Church told her they could get help here, so Crystal loaded the family, all nine of them, on a city bus and brought them to us. The family had never lived in a city before and was having trouble adjusting to its new surroundings. “They didn’t even know how to cross a street safely,” Crystal said. So she decided to take them under her wing. Although Crystal was herself in need, she waited until later to shop for herself, preferring to see the Kenyan family’s needs were adequately met. Crystal is a working single mother of two rapidly-growing young boys. She had been receiving a minimal amount of food aid through the State of Washington, but that was curtailed by recent budget cuts. “That made it a little tougher for us to pay our bills,” she said. She’s said she’s thankful she was eventually able to get some nice clothing for her boys here and that we were able to supply them both with new school shoes through our shoe drive. Crystal, we’re thankful we met you. It’s certainly heartening to know that there are people like you in our community who still demonstrate care and concern for their neighbors; thank you!

Let me tell you a story and explain why I say, "I am excited!” We’ve had a very busy year at Mission Community Outreach Center. Through October 31st, we have served 14,757 total clients; an 18% increase over that same period last year. 2311 clients of that number, or 16%, were first-time visitors to Mission Community Outreach Center. How many local businesses would love to boast the growth we’ve experienced so far in 2012? If we were a typical business, competitors would want to know how we were able to expand our client base so rapidly. We’re not a typical business, of course; we exist only to serve those in need. So instead of asking how we increased our client numbers, a better question might be why are they increasing at all. First of all, we’re doing a better job of getting our message out to the community, particularly to partner agencies who refer clients to us in need of Mark Kinney Executive Director our services. For example, we take referrals from agencies like the Salvation Army to provide clothing to clients enrolled in their various programs. We also take referrals from the refugee resettlement agency, World Relief. In fact, they also direct clothing donations to us so that we’re able to serve their growing client base. Partnerships like these have allowed us to serve more people and consequently our client counts have risen. Our special event numbers are growing too. We served 541 children with new school shoes and socks at our Back to School Shoe event; up from 275 children in 2011. What accounts for that nearly 100% increase? I think the answer is twofold. As we have done with our regular services, we did a good job of promoting the shoe event, but that’s only half of the story. The other half is the increasing need in our community. We could have easily provided 750 pairs of shoes that day, the demand was that great. In fact, we sent our shoppers out with an extra $1000 that morning to buy more shoes in response to the enormous line around our building that stretched nearly three city blocks! We also anticipate serving record client numbers at our upcoming Parents’ Christmas Shopping event on Dec. 14th and 15th. So now you know we’re serving more clients than ever and you know why I think we’re doing it, but you still don’t know why I’m excited. I’m excited that we’re actually able to serve those clients! We have been blessed with the resources, including committed volunteers and generous donors, to do our important work. We’ve even been able to expand our service beyond the limits specified in our bylaws to include all of Spokane. I believe our Lord blesses our work here and wants us to continue it. Will you please help us do that? Please consider an end of year donation so we can continue to serve the neediest among us. Thank you for your support this past year; I’m excited to think of what we can achieve in the coming year with your help! God Bless! Mark Kinney Executive Director

I am Excited!

Theater Benefit Night set for April 10, 2013
Mission Community Outreach Center will host a performance of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” at the Civic Theatre on April 10, 2013. Treasure Island is a classic swashbuckling tale that comes to life in this new stage adaptation! Young Jim Hawkins sets off on the adventure of a lifetime as he searches for the buried treasure of pirate Captain Flint. Sword fights and mutiny abound onboard the ship, and watch out for Long John Silver! Tickets for this exciting family-oriented adventure tale go on sale March 1, 2013; we hope you’ll be able to join us!

Did you know?
Mission Community Outreach Center accepts household goods including bedding, linens, dishes, cookware, cutlery, and some small kitchen appliances. We support families referred by The American Red Cross who have been burned out of their homes with these essential items. We also support domestic violence victims and their families who often must start over in new homes with only the clothing on their backs. Please consider donating excess household items to help a family in need get a fresh start.

A Quarterly Publication of Mission Community Outreach Center

The Outreach

Mission Community Outreach Center of Spokane Washington P.O. Box 3581 Spokane, WA 99220-3581 Return Service Requested


Merry Christmas from Mission Community Outreach Center!

Our Board of Directors are:
President, Bob Fisher; Vice President, Dave Troyke; Treasurer, Katy Eucker; Secretary, Christie Miller; At large, Lynda Key, Marv Plaggerman, Jim Dinnen

Attention Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Members
Are you a Thrivent Financial for Lutherans member and eligible to participate in the Thrivent Choice Dollars program? If so, please read on to learn about an exciting new development in the program! Recent program changes now allow Thrivent members to direct their Thrivent Choice Dollars to Mission Community Outreach Center. Directing Thrivent Choice Dollars is very simple. Either go online to or call 1-800-THRIVENT and state “Thrivent Choice” at the message prompt. Please consider directing a portion of your Thrivent Choice Dollars here before the March 31, 2013 deadline; your “choice” can make a big difference to Mission Community Outreach Center!

Mission Community Outreach Center opened its doors in 1996 with the goal of sharing Christ’s love by reaching out with care to all in our community. We are an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that brings volunteers together to provide assistance to low income families and individuals in Spokane. The needs of Spokane’s low income families have continued to grow and today we provide clothing, household goods, and hygiene items to more than 1200 people per month and infant care items to over 250 infants per month.

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