At Misión Peniel we have been blessed by some incredible donations in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Food, clothing, cleaning supplies and more have made a real difference in the community of Immokalee. Words cannot express our appreciation.
But at times, we receive donations of old and worn clothing, well used pots and pans, and even some things that are broken. While the donor often means well, it can actually present a challenge for the mission as we have to use precious volunteer time to sort through what must be kept versus disposed of, items that are thrown out take up dumpster space that we must pay for, and lastly, if we give out old, well worn clothing and or well used pot and pans, we send a clear message, one that is not positive! One person remarked to me, “Would these be items that we would give to Jesus?”
This all reminded me of a story about a Butterball turkey. A woman was cleaning out an old chest freezer that was caked in frost. Down in the bowels of the freezer she found a hard, frost caked Butterball turkey. She noticed on the turkey a tag that said it was 15 years old and it had an 800 number to the helpline. Calling the hotline, she told the specialist about what she had found. The specialist remarked, “If it has been hard frozen, and never thawed out, it would be safe to eat however after it would probably taste rather bland.” The woman remarked, “That is what I thought, I will just donate it to the church.”
When we make donations to the church, Misión Peniel or any organization, are we giving the best we have to offer? Is our donation one that will help this community (there are very few XXXL farmworkers)? But most importantly, will our gift show the recipient that we love them the way that Christ has loved us?
On behalf of the farmworkers and the at risk community in Immokalee, thank you for all that you do! One person at a time, we are indeed making a difference together. But let us all send a message that we are loving the people we serve as much as Jesus has loved us.
The Rev. Dr. Clinton Cottrell
Member, Mision Peniel Team
For a current list of priority needs, please use the "Current News" link and scroll to the bottom of the page for printable list. Feel free to contact our mission director, Ruth DeYoe, for any questions you may have as well.