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New Hope Helps Bring Thanksgiving to Local Families

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Members donated gift cards and collected food and groceries during the church’s annual “Festival of Hope.” 

New Hope members load frozen turkeys onto the truck.

New Hope members shared Thanksgiving blessings with local families in need during the church’s annual “Festival of Hope.” 

The congregation in Fulton, Md., collaborated with several partner community organizations to provide Thanksgiving dinner to area families in need of assistance. During New Hope’s “Festival of Hope,” members donated gift cards, food, and groceries to LARS, Sarah’s House, HopeWorks, Grassroots, and Columbia Community Cares. 

“[Festival of Hope] gives our church a connection with our community and the opportunity to remind ourselves that we are more than just a church in a community, but a part of the community,” says Mike Speegle, lead pastor. 

New Hope members donated 80 frozen turkeys and 208 $25 gift cards to community organizations to help struggling families celebrate the holiday. The church also provided 45 Thanksgiving meals and gift cards to seniors at Morningside Park Apartments in Jessup, Md.

“The purpose of Church is to be alive in the community,” says Andre Arrais, worship and outreach pastor. “We want to show people that we’re not here to preach at them or take their money, but that we’re here to partner with them to help those in need. I think that helps people have greater respect for who we are.” 

Pathfinders canvassed area neighborhoods to invite residents to donate groceries. They collected and sorted more than 190 bags of groceries. The church’s Adventurers club and Angels group collected an additional 34 bags of groceries, as well as more gift cards for a local homeless shelter. 

“Our church family has a reputation for going above and beyond the goals we set when the needs are explained,” Speegle says. “The ability to switch what we’ve traditionally supplied (groceries) for gift cards, and to provide all of our partner community organizations with what they were asking for, reminds us again of the impact of gratitude on our own hearts and lives.”

Members assemble bags of groceries for local families.

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