By Greg Bernard
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak that has devastated communities around the world, churches and religious institutions have had to shut their doors and services for several months. Congregants have been unable to gather together to fellowship or worship, leaving members feeling isolated and disconnected from their community.
But one church has found that the best way to re-engage members is to get them involved in giving back. San Francisco Zion Church, a Christian church that serves the Bay Area, held a letter-writing campaign for the firefighters of the Greater San Francisco Bay Area this past weekend. Members who participated in the letter-writing campaign hailed from cities and counties across the Bay Area and Northern California: from Contra Costa, Solano, Alameda, San Francisco, and as far as Sacramento.
Local church members and their children wrote cards for the brave men and women who have been fighting the State’s worst wildfires in over a century. Some of these heartwarming letters found their way to Contra Costa’s Fire Departments. The words of encouragement were warmly received, with some firefighters commenting that it was the first public appreciation they’ve gotten for their service in the fires.
Their next major volunteer campaign will be in collaboration with the Red Cross. According to the World Health Organization, blood donations have been in short supply since the beginning of the pandemic. As a result, San Francisco Zion Church resolved to partner with the Red Cross to host a series of blood drives. The first of these drives will begin in November.
“We’ve received over 30 recognitions from local businesses and neighboring cities in the Bay Area in the past few years for our volunteering,” says Adam, a resident of Antioch and member of San Francisco Zion Church. “Next week, we’re raising support for the families affected by the fires and reaching out to the elderly who suffer the most when they are socially isolated from their family members. With everything that’s going on right now, there’s so much need for volunteers.”
For the past five years, San Francisco Zion Church has been active in volunteering and helping people throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Members of the church hope that their volunteerism and donation drives will encourage other churches and organizations in the area to gather together and contribute.