THE HOLIDAYS CAN BE HARD, BUT TOGETHER WE CAN OFFER HOPE! “This is an emergency,” the young woman said when she called our hotline number in Houston. (We’ll call her Sherry.) A baby cried in the background. “I’ve been making calls all morning, but I haven’t found anybody who can help me.” One of the agencies she called referred her to our office. Sherry and her husband had packed everything they owned into their car and moved from rural Texas to Houston during Thanksgiving weekend¬—but after they arrived, the job he was promised had fallen through. Still looking for work, they had run out of money and had to leave the hotel where they had been staying. To make matters worse, a cold front had brought freezing temperatures into town, along with a biting wind. They had no choice but to wait in their car (which wasn’t running because they had no money for gas) with their six-month-old baby girl. At a time when others were enjoying the festivities of the holiday season, this family was trying just to keep warm. Upon hearing their plight, we immediately contacted a ministry in our Somebody Cares network near their location. Within the hour Sherry’s family had a personal visit and an advocate to help in their time of need. Working together, we put them back into the hotel for two more nights to get the baby and the parents out of the cold. We supplied them with food, groceries, and other assistance so they could return home. We also prayed for them and encouraged them. When we spoke with Sherry the next day, she was overwhelmed with the loving and generous response. Sherry and her husband had been strengthened in their spirits and were making plans to return home and start again. This is only one of many, many calls for help that come through our office on a regular basis. And the needs are even

greater as we approach the holidays: people need winter clothing and coats, food and shelter, blankets, meals, Christmas toys for the children…and, most of all, hope to press on into the coming new year! Your generous gift this month will make it a “Christmas of Caring” for hurting individuals and families, like Sherry’s, by meeting real needs right on time! Join us in being the hands and feet of Jesus—at Christmas, and beyond! Thank you for caring!