Heartside nonprofit to provide Christmas lunches, cold-weather supplies

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Courtesy Guiding Light

Guiding Light will offer Christmas meals and cold-weather clothing to Heartside neighbors in need this weekend.

Free grab-and-go meals and supplies, including coats, hats and gloves, will be provided from 12-1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, at Guiding Light, 255 S. Division Ave. in Grand Rapids. Meals will include ham, mashed potatoes, green beans and a cookie, sponsored by Georgetown Christian Reformed Church.

“We are thankful to Georgetown Christian Reformed Church for enabling us to offer our neighbors a warm, comforting meal as we celebrate the birth of Jesus,” said Starla McDermott, development director at Guiding Light. “In addition to providing nourishment to community members in need, we’re also working to ensure individuals experiencing homelessness can be warm and dry all winter long.”

Guiding Light is seeking additional support for the event. Monetary donations are accepted online. One $20 donation will provide a holiday meal to 10 individuals who might otherwise go without.

Other donations beyond Sunday’s event will be used to provide shelter, education and spiritual care to individuals struggling with homelessness and addiction over the winter months. To ensure the proper distribution of donations where they are needed most, Guiding Light has partnered and will share resources with other Grand Rapids community donors, including Community Empowerment Project, Food Share, God’s Kitchen, New Life Community Church, Our Hope and Thurman Taylor Home Services. Guiding Light also shares winter clothing donations with other local organizations, including Comfort Home and Derek’s Place.

“While expanded homeless shelter space has been opened for the winter, ongoing COVID-19 safety protocols could still leave many without a place to stay,” McDermott said. “Access to warm coats, winter boots and thermal gloves is one of the next best resources we can offer. We thank the generous hearts of our community for helping us fill these basic needs as colder temperatures become more prevalent.”

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