Bless Ewa Project
Recently our church was able to launch and complete a project we called the “Bless Ewa Project” where we were able to bless and encourage 100 essential workers in our community. Our hope and prayer is that God would continue to use us, and motivate other churches to aggressively be a blessing in their communities during this time. So we wanted to share a blueprint for how we completed this project start to finish in case other churches want to replicate it. If you’re reading this, please pray about possibly doing something similar with your church family!
The following write up was made by the team leader of this project, who volunteered to lead when the vision was cast to our church.
Overall Goal: to bless local restaurants by purchasing gift cards from them, and then delivering those gift cards in care packages to essential workers in our community. We included a hand written note in each care package from someone in our church sharing that we’re thankful for people’s work in our community and that we’re lifting them up in prayer as a church family.
Team: we had 12 volunteers from the congregation, one of which acted as the lead for this project.
Details: we focused on businesses and workers as close to our church location as possible. Each care package included a hand-written note that stated that Harbor Church West O’ahu was thankful and praying for the worker and appreciative of each worker’s service; many notes included scripture as well. We also included non-perishables; we settled on a snack bar and an instant coffee in each package.
A Note on Local: when we purchased the gift cards, we focused on small and locally owned restaurants. The businesses we purchased from were neither part of out-of-state businesses nor large corporations. We heard thankful feedback from the essential workers that this gift they were receiving was actually a blessing to local businesses as well.
- Contacted local businesses that we wanted to bless, explained to them our intent, and asked whether each business would be open to receiving such care packages from our church. If yes, we then found out the number of people working at each business. Did not promise anything.
- A grocery store proved to be too large for us because of the cost of purchasing gift cards. We settled on a local fire station in Ewa, which had 26 workers, and a hospital, Queens West, which would take any amount of care packages.
- Contacted local businesses from which we wanted to purchase gift cards – we did restaurants. For each restaurant, determined whether gift cards were available, any minimum dollar amount, and how many could be purchased at a time. Databased this information.
- Many restaurants were closed, so we just had to expand to include a few restaurants from a neighboring town.
- Additionally, finalized the additional contents of each package (non-perishables).
- Purchased the gift cards, non-perishables, cellophane bags, ribbon, and transparent tape with which to assemble each package. Purchased at least 10 gift cards from each restaurant. Team members submitted for reimbursement through the church. Each team member that purchased gift cards created a corresponding number of hand-written notes of encouragement. Everything was dropped off at one person’s house for double-checking and compilation into complete care packages.
- Coordinated with the businesses we were blessing and dropped-off the packages in-person.
We’re continuing to pray that God would use this small gift to be an encouragement and blessing to workers in our community, and an opportunity to display His glory and kindness.