ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS GIVING

This is an extraordinary time of the year.

We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we gather with family and friends, and hopefully we take time and reflect on our blessings.

Alternative Christmas Giving offers us the opportunity to embrace our Pine Shores core values: We value living in grace. We value serving others. We value journeying towards Christ-like living and we value acceptance. Here are descriptions for each of the organizations that our generous members at Pine Shores can support.

Our featured mission for this year is the organization Selah Freedom. Selah Freedom brings human trafficking Awareness and Education to the community and organizations through their speakers bureau team, CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) 101 Course, law enforcement training, and Organizational Mentorship. They also advocate for change through legislation. Their Prevention Program equips parents, youth and those who work with them, with the tools they need to avoid being manipulated by a trafficker and successfully prevents girls from being commercially sold.

Due to the Corona Virus, Alternative Christmas Giving will be handled differently this year. Please send your donation check to Pine Shores Presbyterian Church, 6135 Beechwood Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34231 before Tuesday, December 22, 2020. Be sure to write the name of the organization that you would like your donation to go to on the memo line of your check. We will print your name as an Alternative Christmas donor in the January 2021 Pine Lines. There will be no SPARCC tree this year.

To give online, visit pineshorespres.org and click on the GIVE ONLINE tab. Choose the organization you want to give to from the drop down menu.

ORGANIZATIONS TO SUPPORT IN 2020

Family Promise is committed to helping low-income families achieve lasting independence. The problems of poverty are complex and there are no simple solutions. It requires an integrated approach that begins with meeting immediate needs but reaches much further to help people to alleviate the root causes of poverty. Your financial support will enable Family Promise to continue in 2021. For more info, visit www.familypromisesarasota.org

Selah Freedom is a nonprofit anti-human trafficking organization, based in Florida and the Midwest, with the mission to end sex trafficking and bring freedom to the exploited through four strong programs: Advocacy & Awareness, Prevention, Outreach, and Residential.
Selah Freedom confronts the issue of sex trafficking and is upheld as the model for how to effectively bring solutions to survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation. Selah is a Hebrew word which means to pause, rest, and reflect. We give survivors a chance to do just that. Women in our sex trafficking Outreach Program are provided the opportunity to dream again; to discover who it is they were created to be. Visit their website at www.selahfreedom.com.

The Christmas Mission and Peace Offering is a unique opportunity to remember family or friends by making contributions in their names rather than sending Christmas cards or a casual gift. This year the offering is designated for Selah Freedom. Please return your donation by mail or online, no later than Tuesday, December 22nd so we can list your gift in the January 2021 Pine Lines.

The Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO) Seed Bank provides small sample packets of seed to those working as development leaders on behalf of the poor, primarily in developing countries. This is a non-profit agro-ecological organization whose mission is to support small-scale farmers through the dissemination of information and seeds. Their website is echonet.org.

The Pine Shores Community Garden is near the Scout House adjacent to the basketball court. Members of our congregation and the surrounding neighborhood have been invited to grow herbs, fruit, vegetables, and flowers. Individuals, families and not for profit organizations receive, for a small donation, a plot of land within the garden to plant food or flowers for themselves or to donate to people in need. Your financial support will help provide irrigation, tools and supplies needed for this new mission journey.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crisis and catastrophic event. For more information, visit pda.pcusa.org

PDA is currently helping:
Hurricane Iota
Hurricane Eta
Colorado Wildfires
Hurricane Sally
Pacific Northwest Wildfires
COVID-19 Emotional/Spiritual Care
Hurricane Laura
Iowa Derecho

Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. Heifer provides livestock, supplies, expertise and support, while project participants reciprocate with hard work and a pledge to pass on what they learn and receive. Recipients of animals and training are expected to share what they learn with their neighbors. Extra agricultural products, such as milk from cows or goats, honey from bees or eggs from chickens, can be both shared within the community and sold at market. This income, coupled with the training in sustainable practices that our partners receive, allows partners to clothe their families, provide medical care and send their children to school. For more information, visit www.heifer.org .

SPARCC (Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center) provides services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Its mission is to protect victims and to help them regain their independence. Service is provided at no cost and includes: 24-hour hotline, shelter, safety planning, counseling, case management, children’s programs, information and referral, and transitional housing. For more information, visit www.sparcc.net.
There will not be a SPARCC Christmas Stocking Tree this year. Please make your donation check out to Pine Shores Presbyterian Church and write SPARCC in the notes line. Or give online on the Pine Shores website at pineshorespres.org.

Since 1971, Meals on Wheels of Sarasota, a non-profit 501c3, volunteer community service organization has been providing nutritious meals and friendship to individuals who are unable to plan, shop, or prepare meals for themselves. Monday through Saturday, our 450 volunteers deliver around 500 meals per day.

Our service area is from University Parkway to Blackburn Point Road and from I-75 to Longboat, Lido and Siesta Keys. This area is divided into 32 routes and meal deliveries are made by volunteer drivers who use their own vehicles and fuel.

Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious meals to persons in need in the Sarasota community who are unable to provide or prepare a meal for themselves in their home. We serve any person who is homebound, physically or mentally disabled, elderly, recent hospital discharged, veterans waiting for benefits, homebound handicapped children.

Your donation can make a difference:

Feed one person for a week: $36
Feed one person for a month: $156
Feed one person for a year: $1,872

Help decorate the Sanctuary by giving a Poinsettia. This $10 gift gives you an opportunity to honor a loved one or pay tribute to a special person in your life. After the 7:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Service you may take a poinsettia home or you may leave it to be distributed to a member or friend of Pine Shores who is no longer able to attend church. We will print your name in the January 2021 Pine Lines. Be sure to indicate if this gift was given In Memory of or In Honor of. The deadline for purchasing a poinsettia is Monday, December 14, 2020.

Please write the name of the organization to which you would like to donate on your check. Thank you.