By Foster Friess, guest columnist
Last week we encouraged Outriders to help us share God’s blessings in these challenging times by nominating a charity or neighborhood hero to whom Lynn and I could send a check of encouragement.
Lynn and my grants are inspired by Galatians 6:2, “When we carry one another’s burdens, we fulfill the law of Christ.” Particularly at this time when we celebrate the birth of Christ and how much He gave so that we can be set free to serve, and our past mistakes washed away.
Here are a few highlights from the hundreds of charities and heroes we selected:
The first grant, which we increased to $25,000, went to the Amish Miller family’s church. Five children in the Miller family were injured when their buggy was struck from behind by an alleged drunk driver while headed to school near Birchwood, Wisconsin, on December 14th. The buggy was destroyed and the horse had to be euthanized due to injuries sustained. The check will help with medical bills and restore their sole means of transportation.
The next grant, which we increased to $25,000, goes to the Amish King family whose horse on December 17th ran a stop sign while headed to school. A garbage truck T-boned the buggy, killing three of the King children, including the 15-year old driver. We added $5,000 to the traumatized truck driver’s church for counseling and support.
Mimi’s House in Casper, Wyoming, received our third check. It houses housed unaccompanied homeless youth and helps them earn their high school diploma or equivalent.
In Indiana, Brianna’s Hope is a participant-driven, faith-based support center for those battling with substance abuse. Freedom Farm Ministry in Boone, North Carolina, provides a similar program, helping those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
Multiple veterans nominated Dogs and Tags of Wyoming. One said, “Dogs and Tags gave me my life back. Gave me a safe place to go. Gave me a dog, helped me with resources and set me up with other veterans that we could help each other.”
In Greenville, South Carolina, we were inspired by a small charity making a big difference for little ones born into families in financial need. Greenville’s Gift helps new moms and babies feel celebrated and loved by providing bags filled with newborn essentials like baby clothes, blankets, burp cloths, and more.
In a year that was especially difficult for young people, unable to be with friends and at school, programs like Mr. Lorentz’s ‘Get out There’ program in Birchwood, Wisconsin, and the Wyoming Boy Scouts were nominated by parents who are grateful for the impact on their students.
We also selected heroes like Kristi, a COVID nurse who recently lost her long-time boyfriend in a tragic car accident, and Josh, a firefighter in Casper, Wyoming, who for years selflessly helped others and was recently afflicted with life-changing symptoms from COVID.
One of the most touching heroes was “Miss Tammy” of Converse County, Wyoming. She has dedicated her life to individuals with intellectual disabilities, like Autism. The moms that nominated Tammy say she’s an angel for them and their children.
Lynn and I are so grateful for all of the Outriders who have helped us be the Lord’s hands and feet. Together we’re His hands and feet in this hurting world.
Let’s Make America a Philippians 4:8 Land. Merry Christmas!