No one would argue, this winter has been cold in Kansas City. Records have been broken, deaths have occurred, travel has been interrupted, schools have closed. Most of us though have stayed in the warmth of our home or ventured out only in our heaviest of coats, scarves, gloves, hats and boots. We are blessed to have these resources.
But one ten year-old in our congregation and her friends have blessed others. Ava attended worship three years ago and heard Rev. Hamilton talk about Share the Warmth, a Resurrection mission project to provide outer wear for those in need. That night when her mother put her to bed she told her mother that she wanted to “leave a legacy, make a difference and be remembered when she was gone.” And she wanted to do this by collecting coats, scarves, gloves, blankets and hats for the homeless and others in need.
Encouraged by her parents, but not orchestrated by them or any other adults, Ava and her Angels (eleven good friends) developed a plan. A script was written to use when contacting neighbors door to door and she prepared thank you packages of hugs and kisses candy to deliver to donors with the note, “Hugs and kisses from the homeless.”
As a result of their efforts, 111 new and gently used coats were collected that first year by Ava’s Angels in their neighborhood and the neighborhood across the street. A local cleaner was contacted who provided their services, thus the clothing was cleaned and the girls joyfully presented them to Geanie Meyer, volunteer Collections’ Ministry Coordinator at Resurrection.
But the story does not end here. The next year, the same mission was carried out even though Ava was wearing a plastic bag over her recently broken foot. And the results that year brought in 151 coats as the girls increased their goals. But this past year, one change was needed. An additional neighborhood was added. The result: over 400 coats were collected.
Although the shy 8 year old who has now turned 10, wants no credit and gives thanks to her friends for spreading the word. This has resulted in a drop-off bin placed on her front porch. She has received donations individuals at her school and even a brownie troop collecting coats for Ava’s Angels.
Ava and her friend’s excitement increases when Geanie Meyer is able to tell them where their clothing went—sometimes agencies in KC or specific schools and elsewhere in the United States. And Ava mentions that this past year they knew a family who had lost every thing so she made sure they were given coats too.
According to Ava, she just wants to help people and it makes it all the better that she is able to do it with her friends. And you can hear the excitement in her voice when she also talks about next year when these highly motivated and incredibly kind young girls will do it all over again!
If you wish to donate coats to Ava’s Ministry, take them to the collection point at the church and specify that it is for Ava’s Angels.