Holly Furtick

There’s still more to do!

We’re in the final stretch of LOVE Week 2014 and we’re just breaking the surface on the incredible impact we will see volunteers make throughout our communities.   If you haven’t joined in on the LOVE Week action or if you’ve been serving all week and can’t get enough there’s still plenty more to do!

This weekend at every Elevation location, bring new or gently used items for “Stuff the Truck.” We’ll take your gifts to Crisis Assistance Ministry and other local organizations.

Here are seven more opportunities for you to sign up and serve.

Do you enjoy brightening someone’s day? Volunteers are needed at Hope Cancer Ministries to bring a hot meal to patients and their families in the Charlotte area.  Sign up and join us today, Thursday July 31 from 11:30 am – 4 pm

 

Elevation ROA has a couple great opportunities left to serve with neat organizations. Help out at Ronald McDonald House or our friends with Roanoke city parks. Click HERE to learn more.

 

Do you enjoy music or like to sing? Then this event is for you. You’re invited to be a part of the choir and serve a meal at Supportive Housing Communities on July 31 from 5-7 pm. Sing along and serve HERE.

 

What could be more fun than food, rides, and games? Volunteer on August 1 to set up and run a carnival for the residents at Holy Angels in Belmont. From 9 am-12 pm or 1-3:30 pm, you can celebrate with an organization providing specialized care, innovative learning programs, and is empowering those who are differently able.  Sign up to celebrate HERE.

 

Tear down and rebuild at Charlotte Rescue Mission. Volunteers are needed to help in the demolition of old worn out fences and installation of new fencing in several areas throughout the campus.  Improve the security and appearance of this safe haven for those who are homeless and battling addiction in the Charlotte area on August 2 from 9 am – 12 pm by clicking HERE.

 

Support the facility where our Elevation Rock Hill campus meets each week by cleaning up the grounds at Sullivan Middle School. Join us on August 2 from 8 am-12 pm to prepare this area for church and the return of students in the fall. Make your mark by signing up HERE. 

 

It’s Christmas in the summer! Come out to Barium Springs Home for Children on August 2 from 10-12 am to prepare Christmas supplies for children who are in group homes, therapeutic foster care, and adoptions. Give the gift of service this season HERE.

 

And don’t forget, to wrap up LOVE Week, we are gathering with our church under one roof at Time Warner Cable area to record our new live worship album. There are only a few seats left so reserve your seat today by ordering your ticket on the Elevation Worship Live webpage.  We will be collecting canned food donations at the event. We cannot wait to celebrate all that God has done through our church and will continue to do in the future. We hope you will join us in this unforgettable night of worship.  See you there!

 

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Serving with your kids… help or hassle?

I am passionate about serving with my kids.  I want them to understand, as best as they can, that there are people in our world and in our city who need our help.  And not just our resources but also our time.  I want them to have a compassionate heart to help people in need.

That being said, that doesn’t mean they will always understand it and enjoy it in the moment.  This past Sunday, after serving for about 10 minutes Abbey turned to me and said, “I am tired of doing this.  When am I going to go to Grammy’s?”  Ugg.  I wanted them to have fun!  I wanted us to serve together!

I will never forget taking Elijah last summer to the waiting room of  Crisis Assistance Ministries, a place where people wait for hours in hopes that they will find help to pay their bills and provide for their families.  We were there to give out books to kids and read with them while they were there waiting.  Elijah was discontent the entire time… what are we doing here?  how long are we going to be here?  Mommy, I’m thirsty.  when are we going to leave?  Towards the end of our visit, I was talking with the director of the organization, Carol.  She told me that all her life her parents drug her to places like this to serve people.  She told me she never really liked it as a child, but then one day, as a young adult, she realized she had such a passion to help people in need.  She now gives her life every day to it.

When we go to an event, I try and prep my kids- This is what we are doing, this is why we are doing it.  It is going to be hot.  We will stay until our task is finished… even then there are times where they just don’t get it, or they can’t stay engaged.  I have to remember that I planted a seed of generosity and a seed of compassion in their heart, and trust that God will bring it to fruition in His time.

 

All that being said, here are a few family friendly events you can be a part of this LOVE Week…

 

 

1. Birdhouse Making

It’s summertime and your family is spending a lot of time playing outside.  Share the beauty of the great outdoors with the residents of Agape Senior & Assisted Living by building bird houses.  Start building on July 29 from 1-3:30 pm by signing up HERE.

 

2. Free Store

Do you or your kids like to shop?  Did you know you could volunteer at a free store for LOVE Week? Free Store is a large-scale resource for donated clothing and household items that are given to families in need at no charge. Our teams need your help inspecting, sorting and stocking donated items in the Free Store to go out to local families in need. Shop till you drop on July 30 from 9-11 am HERE.

 

3. Healthy Family Fun Day

Join us for a community hot dog social and health expo at the Community Health Services of Monroe Diabetic Clinic. This free clinic serves over 7,800 patients in Union County with Diabetes. Many of these patients are unemployed and have no health insurance. The Clinic provides these patients with all the tools to help them lead a healthier life.  Join families from the Monroe area on July 31 from 9-1: 30 pm to enjoy food and have fun as they gain valuable health information. Register HERE.

 

4. Summer Block Party

What better way to celebrate summer than with a fun outdoor block party? We will be celebrating with the residents of Agape, their families, and community on July 31 at 6:00 pm. Sign up to celebrate HERE.

 

5. Family Game Night

What is more fun that a family game night? Play Bingo, cook dinner, and make dessert with the residents at Inreach on July 30 from 4:30-7 pm.  You win just by signing up HERE.

 

TORONTO, CALIFORNIA AND ROANOKE – LOVE Week is going on at all our locations and our extension sites. Here are a couple of our favorites there.

 

6. Back to School Centerpieces

Do you and your kids like to make arts and crafts? Then this project is for you. The Yonge Street Mission in Mississauga, an organization that supports at risk youth and families in Toronto, is holding a “Back to School Fundraiser” to raise money for school supplies for dozens of children this fall, and we get to create the centerpieces! We will provide all the supplies and instructions for you.  This is a perfect event to do at home with your family, or get some friends together and make 2 or 3! You will be able to pick up and drop off all supplies at church on the weekends. Start creating by clicking HERE.

 

7. Ronald McDonald House

This event is a favorite of our volunteers every year. We will be cleaning inside and outside landscaping at Ronald McDonald House Roanoke. July 31 from 6:3-8:30 pm. Register HERE.

 

8. Food Drive

Bring your family with you to the grocery store and pick out items for the Sacramento Food Bank. Bring by your cans between 8am and 7pm on Wednesday July 30.  Accepted items include: fresh produce, canned & dry goods, USDA certified perishable food items (meat, eggs, dairy), unexpired baby food & formula, clothing, diapers & baby supplies, bags, backpacks, purses, books, toys, unopened toiletries, computers, TVs and bicycles. To donate and find out more, click HERE.

 

9. Coat Drive

Growing families outgrow clothing.  Clean out your closets and donate your coats to bless local, underprivileged families in the Roanoke area. Bring all your jackets to church on Sunday, August 3. Find out more HERE.

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4 ways to join love week this Saturday!

 

WARNING: You are going to be hearing a lot about love week from me on social media over the next week.  Why?  Because I love LOVEWeek.  I love serving our community with my friends and family.  I love being the hands and feet of Jesus without any ulterior motives.  If you are a part of Elevation (or if you are not but you live in the area), I want you to be a part.  Not just do your part, BE a part.

When we all put our gifts and our passions together we can make a huge difference.  Do you like to do yard work?  Do you like to build?  Do you like senior citizens?  Are you passionate about feeding the needy or helping homeless children?  There is an opportunity for everyone.  Remember, you can go to the LOVEWeek site and search by location, type of event, time of day, and/or family friendly events.

And if you need a little help deciding, over the next week I will be posting opportunities for you to get involved.  Here are the top 4 events you can be involved with this Saturday…

If you like to build, tear down, reconstruct, or paint and  you live in the Cornelius, Charlotte, or Concord area? Habitat for Humanity has events happening at five locations this Saturday that you can sign up for. Come be a part of the first day of a new home build or renovate an office. This is your chance to put God’s love into action to transform lives and add beauty to your community.  Register HERE.

 

Do you like to party? To start up LOVE Week, we’ll be teaming up with Second Harvest Food Bank to have a packing party at the Uptown area warehouse.  Come spend some time with your friends and help supply much needed food to organizations throughout the Charlotte region. To register to help to make sure that food pantries stay stocked throughout the summer and serve those who might otherwise go hungry, click HERE.

 

Calling all green thumbs and parking lot artists! Your passion for gardening and painting in straight lines is needed at the Ada Jenkins Center to freshen it up before Fall. The Ada Jenkins Center is a new LOVE Week partner added with Elevation’s expansion to Lake Norman and we’re more than excited to be transforming this local non-profit inside and out. Have a hand in creating an inviting environment for students as they enter the next school year by registering HERE.

 

Want to give a landscape a new look? Jackson Park is a long-time strategic partner that has new energy to help transition families out of homelessness. Thirty volunteers are still needed for this Saturday’s transformational landscaping event. The lawn needs mowing, weeds have taken over play areas, and mulch needs refreshing. Sign up HERE and come out to create for Jackson Park an environment that matches their passion to help families in crisis and restore lives.

We will also have opportunities for you to serve at each of our campuses after the worship experiences all weekend.  Make sure that you plan to stay for a bit after!  Maybe I will see you out there?

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Love Week

 

 

I’m grateful to lead and be a part of a church where we don’t stop at just HEARING God’s word, we get out there and DO something about it. We believe you’re never more like Jesus than when you’re serving, so later this month we will give our time and talents to spend 9 days serving with 107 organizations in over 900 events.

It is LOVE Week people! One of my favorite weeks of the year. And it is so easy to get involved.

Starting July 26 and running through August 3, every day and through every Elevation location we’ll have the opportunity to do things like build a homeorganize a food pantry, spruce up the walls of a partner non-profit with fresh paintcook or deliver a meal for a homeless neighbor or a cancer patient, spend the day at summer camp with a kid who wouldn’t normally be able to afford it, play bingo with a senior citizen, or be a part of an outdoor landscaping makeover for one of our outreach partners.

Suzanne Spantgos is one of more than 120 volunteers leading the charge to accomplish what from the outside seems next to impossible. Planning and preparations started months ago. Suzanne and her husband George lead a special needs adult eGroup Elijah and I visited this spring. “I’m drawn to caring for others,” she says. “When I gave my life back to Jesus in 2010 at Elevation and saw how involved we are in serving and giving in our community to the things that really matter to me, I knew this was our church.”

Suzanne is organizing and ordering supplies for 169 food events during LOVE Week and coordinating dozens more through our Blakeney location.

You are going to be hearing a lot more about how you can get involved during LOVE Week. The best time to sign up is now because events will fill up fast (no commenting to me at the end of the month about events being full!!)! Sign up now!!

Click over to our outreach blog where you’ll see regular updates and highlighted opportunities as the countdown continues.  Go to the LOVE Week events site and use the filters to find events near you and your interests. Get involved and find out why many of us plan our summer vacations around this opportunity to bombard our cities with LOVE.

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Refugees in our backyard?

Once a month I like to take a few of the women in leadership at our church and visit one of our outreach partners.  A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit One7 Academy.  We got to share in their chapel time and serve the girls lunch.

One7 is a ministry to refugee kids living in Charlotte.  Yes we have refugees living in Charlotte.  One7 Academy offers free, private education for 19 very blessed girls from all over the world (you’ve got to check out their profiles on their site).  One7 ministries seeks to minister to many of the international families in crisis in our city.  Of course, they also use the ministry of soccer.  In fact, one of their boy’s teams won the US Club National Championship last year.  But they also have an entire apartment building that offers help and hope to families that many of us don’t even know exist in our city, as well as a weekly discipleship opportunity too.

I had the best time at the academy.  I am so thankful that when I give to Elevation a percentage of my money goes to help kids like this and that our church provides so many opportunities for us to get involved with organizations that are really getting it done in our city.  And, if you are local to Charlotte,  I KNOW the girls at One7 Academy would love to meet you.  They have weekly opportunities for you and your group to get involved.  Contact them through their site.

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Wrapping up Christmas

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Earlier this week I had the opportunity to serve at A Child’s Place. A Child’s Place is an organization in Charlotte that serves homeless children. Did you know that there are over 7,000 identified homeless children in Charlotte? These are children living in hotels, shelters and staying with relatives. A Child’s Place provides many services for these children, one of which is family sponsorship at Christmas time.

I got to wrap some the many gifts given by the generous people of our city. We had such a great time. If you would like to serve with your family or group, here’s where you can find events going on this week and next. Click here to join the movement.

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Turkey Tuesday!

 

Today is Turkey Tuesday at Elevation.  That means that 200+ families in need this season will come to our church and receive a bag of groceries for a Thanksgiving meal for their family because of our partnership with Matthews Help Center.  I love my church.

Last night, I joined forces with 30 women from all of our campuses, all over Charlotte, to put these bags together.  I love getting to meet people while doing something productive at the same time.

When the evening was over and all the bags were packed, we prayed over the bags.  We prayed that the people who received the groceries would sense the love of Christ even if they don’t know him personally.  I am so thankful for the many opportunities that I get to be a part of.

 

If you live in Charlotte and would like to get involved in an outreach opportunity, check out our website for an event that fits you!

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A Ronald McDonald Party

Last night I got so serve alongside some of Elevation’s finest women.  About 30 women and I brought goodies to make welcome baskets for the families being served at Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte.  We brought enough stuff to make over 100 baskets!  (and we ate cake pops too!).  Here is some more information about Ronald McDonald House and how you can be a part too…

Ronald McDonald House provides families a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment while their children receive treatment at nearby medical facilities.  They provide the following services and more for families in their care…

  • Ministry and spiritual support
  • Transportation
  • Sibling activities
  • Holiday and birthday celebrations
  • Group support
  • Nightly family meals
  • Daily family-friendly activities

To date, Elevation has given $17,000 to support this organization.

You can support RMH in the following ways…

  • Have your eGroup prepare the nightly meals, monthly table decorations, and/or bake fresh cookies.
  • Put together Family Care Kits like the ones we are putting together today.
  • Donate new toys and books.

If you or your eGroup would like to get involved with this outreach partner, please contact elisacurtis@sbcglobal.net.

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A trip to the Dove’s Nest

Last week, several of the Elevation staff spouses and I (how do you like our hair nets?) served at the Charlotte Rescue Mission’s Dove’s Nest.  The Dove’s Nest is an amazing ministry that provides substance abuse recovery for women and their families at a success rate of 77%!  Their program has several unique features…

  • They are a Christ based ministry
  • They are not a 28 day program, residents stay for 4-5 months
  • They are able to house a woman AND her children while the mother is getting help
  • The women receive counseling from trained professionals

This past summer the Dove’s Nest opened a brand new building, located right in the heart of Charlotte that is amazing.  Their new facility allows them to eventually be able to help 90 women at a time.

We had a great time touring their facility, hanging out with the residents and helping in their kitchen.  If you are local to Charlotte, you can help the Dove’s Nest in the following ways…

  • become a prayer partner
  • help cook or donate meals once a month
  • bring donations such as women’s clothing, shoes, and hygiene items
  • provide services for the women such as art or cooking classes, salon or spa services, even fitness classes

You can click here to see their ongoing and immediate needs.

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Ladies First

Last week we got together with our female staff and staff spouses.  We try to get together a few times a year.  Each time we meet we try to change it up.  We have served together, we have simply gotten to know each other and we have brought in speakers too (this was our last event).

This time we brought in one of my favorite authors, Shaunti Felhahn.  We decided to have everyone who normally attends this event invite someone with them.  We had the best time.  We had ice cream in January.  We talked about the core values of Elevation (The Code).  We collected items for Pregnancy Resource Center AND gave them a check from the generous people of Elevation for $40K!   And we heard from a bestselling author.

Shaunti spoke to us about the inner workings of men and how we can apply what we know about men to working with them and being married to them.  Her content is so good.  I love it because it is not one woman’s opinion for men, it is a woman’s findings after interviewing thousands of men.  If you have never read her book, For Women Only, or For Women Only in the Workplace, you need to get a copy!

Here’s a few pictures from our night…

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