Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Greetings from Step Up of Alamance!

As the Christmas season draws near, there’s much going on with our 3 families.

One family has found a new client, who is providing income for the family. We’re praying for one more client to be found to restore the family to the level of income it had before losing two previous clients.

We are still looking for a full-time work situation with another family, as she is working part-time, and very hard hours at that. This has been very tough on her, with young kids.

All three families will go to St. Mark’s Church on Saturday to be presented with food and presents for Christmas. This wonderful opportunity was made available by the Dimes Ministry from with St. Mark’s. What a blessing!

Finally, Jarm Turner, the Student Ministries Pastor at St. Mark’s gave the sermon this weekend. He highlighted the poor and the Church’s responsibility in loving, caring, and ministering to the impoverished. Jesus, Himself, was impoverished. Jarm presented real-life examples of local organizations addressing the needs of the poor, and Step Up was included! We were subsequently handed a significant check by someone in attendance at the service. Yea, God!

Merry Christmas to all, and have a healthy and safe New Year. Until then!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tis the Season!

Hi Everyone!

This past week, someone donated 3 Christmas Trees and light sets for our three families. What a season of giving! The families have enjoyed decorating their trees. In addition, a twin bed was donated as well!

Jim carried one family down to Salem UMC early Saturday morning for their “Holly Daze” event. This is where those in need in the community can come and select clothing, household items, Christmas toys and decorations for free! They even provided breakfast!

Beth is working with each family in their own way. Homework and educational help and job hunting for one. Credit counseling and planning for home purchase for another. She’s still doing general counseling with all three families as well as relationship counseling with an outside couple as well.

Finally, we will be hosting our first ever Open House at the two Step Up properties on January 24th, 2010, 1-4pm. We’re excited about showing off the property and ministry to those that might have an interest. All are welcome to stop by!

In this special season of holidays, Step Up wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Updates Updates Updates!

These past few weeks have been busy but great! Of the current three families in Step Up, two families have entered their kids in a local YMCA basketball program, and are playing on a team! Way to go!

Another family member has lost her job due to the current economic downturn and is currently looking for work. If any readers know of a job opening feel free to comment!

On another note, we are preparing for Christmas with the families with the assistance of the Dimes Ministry at St. Mark's Church. One four-year-old boy's wish was to have his own sandbox, so we are going to build him one before Christmas as a gift.

This week, furniture and a TV was donated to the ministry this week and we are very thankful for that. We also painted the living room and hall in one of Step Up's homes.

We are also very excited about an upcoming DVD production filmed by two Elon University students about the history of Step Up. This should help with communication with the ministry to those interested, and will help us clarify our message and calling in the ministry.

Beth spent multiple hours in counseling with the 3 families as well as with a former family asking for a “refresher” in relationship counseling. This is always the highlight of the week, as it’s what Step Up is all about: building relationships and changing lives! With that, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and happy holidays! We will continue to update after the holiday break.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Step Up of Alamance: a History

Step Up of Alamance was started as a call to understand and provide opportunities for those that are struggling with poverty. Step Up was established by Jim and Beth Gurley of Burlington, NC. Their mission is to re-train families exhibiting a desire to change by showing them Christ-centered life skills. Saint Mark's Reformed Church helps to fund apartments for the organization. Step Up "serves to provide a Christian community to those living in poverty".

Currently, the ministry runs on donations from the church as well as private doners and donated services (such as electricians, plumbers , painters, etc.) for the homes. Step Up owns two furnished residences that are provided for appropriate families in need, hand selected by Step Up. These families live in the residence for a period determined by the family's willingness to change. This enables families to free up emotional energy and time which lets them focus of learning and adapting new life skills.

Furthermore, Step Up offers counseling to explore the most valuable solution for each individual family. An individual in every family is to pursue employment or education that will help them land a job in the future. Weekly goals are established for the families, that are based on the individual needs of each family. Step Up has created this requirement as a part of their transitioning program. The Step Up counselors, board of directors, and volunteers play an active role in helping these families to get back on their feet and begin living independently and sucessfully.