As the world continues to learn more about coronavirus and its spread, it's vital to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. However, it's also important to make sure that the information being distributed is from credible sources. To that end, Between The Lines has compiled, [...]
Christmas will be a little bit brighter for six South Oakland County families this year thanks to the generosity of the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit, located in Ferndale.
Led by a spunky lady with an elf-eared hat, the LGBT-friendly congregation’s Worship Team delivered nearly $4,000 worth of presents to the families on Dec. 15. Laurie Amalfitano of Roseville organized the church’s giving tree program through Volunteers of America. While MCC has a history of helping those in need within their congregation, this is the first Christmas the church felt strong enough to spread their generosity further.
“This has been the most rewarding experience since I’ve joined the church,” Amalfitano said. “The economy is tough and there are people outside the church who are in worse shape than we are.”
Pastor Deb Dysert said she is proud of the way members came together and went above the call of duty put forth by the Worship Team. Volunteers of America set minimum requirements for the donations to the families adopted through the program. They required at least a $50 grocery gift card for the families, one toy per child, and one warm clothing item per family member. MCC collected more than double the amount in food certificates. They received coats, boots and new pajamas for each child; pots, pans and towels for each home; and a turkey for each family.
More than two dozen members delivered the gifts and sang Christmas carols with the families.
“It is something to see how people respond to actually being the hands and feet of God as they share his blessings with others tonight,” Dysert said. “It doesn’t just help the families; it makes all of us feel good too.”
Five of the families live in Ferndale, and one in Royal Oak. “Another member and I went and visited each family to introduce ourselves and learn more about what each of the children would like,” said Amalfitano. “Their stories are all so touching. One is a mom and dad who have two little girls…and they both lost their jobs this year. There is also a 64 year old grandmother who is in a wheelchair struggling to raise a ten-year-old boy.”
In addition to adopting six families, MCC is collecting blankets for Higher Ground’s Blankets for AIDS program. They also collect personal hygiene items and teddy bears for homeless LGBT youth at the Ruth Ellis Center.