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 Family Promise of Sarasota. Pine Shores has a long history of supporting this worthwhile and necessary organization.

  • In 2021, Family Promise of Sarasota served 130 families which included 355 children under 18, in both Sarasota and Manatee Counties
  • Upon follow up with former families, 95% were housed in stable and save environments
  • This is a registered 501c3 not-for-profit organization and functions with only one paid employee
  • New programs include Francis House and Keys to Good Tenancy (an educational tool that explains leases, rights and responsibilities of renters)
  • The Francis House was acquired by Family Promise and is located in Sarasota. It is a fully furnished two bedroom house and serves as a short-term living space for expectant or new mothers and their children.

The SPARCC Stocking tree will be up along with the Alternative Christmas Giving (ACG) tables in the Narthex from Sunday, December 5th through Sunday, December 19th. Please take time to stop by one of the ACG tables. Members of the Mission Committee will be there to answer any questions that you may have and take your donations.

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 2022

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 2022. For more info, visit www.familypromisesarasota.org

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 Family Promise of Sarasota. Please return your envelopes, or make your donation online, no later than Tuesday, December 21st so we can list your gift in the Christmas Eve Bulletin.

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.

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. PDA is currently helping with: Hurricane Ida, North Carolina, Tennessee & Kentucky Flooding, Winter Storms, Colorado Wildfires, Haiti, St. Vincent Volcano Eruption, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, South Sudan and more. For more information, visit pda.pcusa.org

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)
SPARCC 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.

The SPARCC Christmas Stocking Tree is a great way to make a meaningful difference. The paper stockings will be hung with care on the trees in the Narthex. Each paper stocking is printed with a request for a Gift Card from your favorite merchant. Gift card amounts range from $10 to $50 or more and often people take more than one gift card in support of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Gift cards can be placed in the gift box located near to the SPARCC Tree, left at the Alternative Christmas Giving table or brought to the church office during the week. You may also donate by check, made out to Pine Shores Presbyterian Church (write SPARCC in the notes line) or give online 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

Beth El Farmworker Ministry, Inc.
Step up for Success Program
“Feed my lambs.” John 21: 15

Beth-El believes that education is the key to promoting pathways toward a more economically sustainable future. Their Step Up for Success program aims to feed young adults with hope, purpose and practical knowledge that will help them achieve their goals. Education coupled with love and support from the community is key to providing hope for young adults. Dedicated mentors have taken to heart Jesus’ instruction to tend His sheep. There is tremendous growth in this program and with the participants.

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 Christmas Eve bulletin. 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 13, 2021.

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