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January 27, 2010 > CityServe's Compassion Network

CityServe's Compassion Network

By Ritu Jha
Photos By courtesy of Compassion Network

Established with the objective of serving people in need, CityServe will be celebrating 'Compassion Month' throughout February.

"We have lots of big projects coming up," says Christine Beitsch, Executive Director of CityServe's Compassion Network, a faith-based non-profit in Fremont.

CityServe was incorporated in 1996 by Pastor Sherman Williams of Fremont Community Church, who always had a vision to congregate the churches of the Tri-City area.

"We have about 2,000 volunteers and about 70 congregations involved," explains Beitsch.

She says there are various networks that run under CityServe and Compassion Network is one of the ministries of CityServe.

"We do all the projects. We are the actual legs and CityServe unites all congregations to help those who are in need," says Beitsch.

Compassion projects happen all year round but Beitsch says, "This year we have highlighted the month of February because it's a month of compassion, love, family and faith."

Children, ages seven to eleven, will work on a project called 'My Favorite Cereal.' These children who are involved in the after school kids club program will be gathering boxes of their favorite cereal. The boxes will then be delivered to the Bridges Community Church Food Pantry.

"We have a food pantry and we are running out of cereal, so these collected cereals will be going out to families in need," says Beitsch.

She mentioned that they will hold a Heart to Heart Cookies Drive to include encouraging cards made by the volunteers in the congregation. These cards and cookies will be given out to the two new fire stations in Niles and on Central Avenue in Fremont and to some military families.

Another program of the month will be the distribution of grocery bags called, 'Bags of Love' distributed to 20 or more families.

In addition, every weekend church volunteers work with seniors at Merrill Gardens, a retirement center in Fremont. "The women in our churches knit, so we are going to give handmade blankets to the residents of Merrill Gardens," adds Beitsch.

The Compassion Network will also organize a coat drive. About 200 men, women and children will be given coats on February 16. "We work with local chapters of agencies who identify the neediest families," says Beitsch.

Various yard projects are projected for February They will be helping seniors and the disabled, grooming lawns and yards each Saturday.

Beitsch says more and more volunteers are joining CityServe's Compassion Network.

"We are trying to be more intentional and available in whatever way we can," says Beitsch. "We have received triple the demand for needs and lots of calls for rental assistance and money." The group is doing more pro-active compassion projects to help meet those needs.

Earlier the center was simply accepting clients and making referrals to churches. Now the Compassion Network tries to find solutions. Beitsch wants people to know, "We are here and always be here. We help provide food, clothing and do things that are a little beyond what other agencies can't do," says Beitsch.

CityServe's Compassion Network recently has started a tutoring program offering help every Saturday for children. The network is also helping people with immigration paperwork and resume writing.

Beitsch says, "CityServe's Compassion Network is located at the Fremont Family Resource Center and being a faith based organization in here, we work closely with our partner agencies to assist our families in the best way possible."


City Serve Compassion Network
Monday - Friday
10 a.m. -4 p.m.
39155 Liberty Street, Suite D450, Fremont
(510) 796-7378
www.cityserveonline.org

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