Meaghan Esmeijer delivers fully packed diaper backs to the maternity floor of Chilliwack General Hospital as part of the Southside Church ‘Love them Both’ program. (Submitted photo)

Meaghan Esmeijer delivers fully packed diaper backs to the maternity floor of Chilliwack General Hospital as part of the Southside Church ‘Love them Both’ program. (Submitted photo)

Chilliwack’s Southside Church spreads Christmas cheer with ‘All is Bright’ day

The fifth annual community outreach event happens Nov. 28 with activities throughout Chilliwack

An annual tradition at Chilliwack’s Southside Church continues this year, with a few COVID-related adjustments.

For the last four years, the church has organized a community outreach day called ‘All is Bright,’ and it returns Saturday (Nov. 28) with members bringing Christmas cheer to all corners of Chilliwack.

“We’ve planned a contact-free, largely drive-thru style day, with individuals participating in solo initiatives, or within their household units,” said Southside Church communications director Breanna Murphy.

According to Murphy, “the emphasis is on bringing tangible hope and help to those in our community who often feel lonely and hopeless.”

The 2019 event included eight community initiatives, with 300 volunteering 1,200 service hours to the cause.

Initiatives from last year being carried over to 2020 include the Sunshine Fund, which was created to help individuals and families struggling with cancer and other critical illnesses. The church distributes gift boxes with $500-$1000 worth of prepaid visas, gas cards and Skip the Dishes cards.

READ MORE: Rotary Christmas celebration for kids will replace downtown parade

READ MORE: ‘Sense of desperation: Christmas bureaus anticipating spike in need this year

Southside’s ‘Love them Both’ program is aimed at new moms, with teams dispatched to shop for essentials and pack brand new diaper bags. The bags and other items (strollers/wipes/formula/etc) are delivered to the Chilliwack General Hospital maternity floor, and also to the Pregnancy Care Center (PCC).

This year, Southside is adding two more initiatives.

During the pandemic, the church has seen people tuning in to online services from all over the planet, including Taiwan, France and Nairobi. The ‘Global Team’ project is challenging those people to carry out initiatives in their communities.

The FOUR initiative is open to church members and the public. People are invited to visit the brand new almost-finished Southside building at 45636 South Sumas Road. Murphy said they will be given instructions and resources for ‘four action steps.’

– A $5 gift card as a gift to someone or a prompt to buy coffee for a friend.

– A blank card, to be written in as a note of encouragement, to make the day of the person you give it to.

– Instructions to return to the drive-thru with canned food for the Sts’Ailes Community School.

– Instructions to return to the drive-thru with a string of Christmas lights for the church’s Wonder Drive-Thru, which will be happening in December.

The day will end with an opportunity to drive-thru Southside’s pop-up Christmas light drive-thru on Olds Drive, where the church will be collecting non-perishable food items for students and families of the Chehalis Community School.

“This year, everything looks different in every area of life, but we didn’t want that to stop us from bringing help to the city we love,” Murphy said. “We’re actually calling this ‘our brightest year yet.’ We want to do more than we’ve ever done before because we see more need than ever before.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

chilliwack

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mackenzie Ashley-Lynn Gilfillan was last seen Jan. 10 in the 45000-block of Menholm Road. (RCMP photo)
RCMP asking for help to find missing Chilliwack woman

Mackenzie Ashley-Lynn Gilfillan was last seen Jan. 10 in the 45000-block of Menholm Road

Chilliwack Chiefs
Chilliwack Chiefs acquire forward Ben Woodhouse from Wellington Dukes

The BCHL club swapped future considerations to the Dukes for the 20-year-old forward

Two vehicle incidents eastbound on the Trans Canada Highway have been reported in Langley. (Google photo)
TRAFFIC: Two separate vehicle crashes on Highway 1 in Langley, one person taken to hospital

University Drive is closed between 216th Street and Glover Road

An Abbotsford man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 3 on Monday, Jan. 18. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford man killed in Highway 3 crash near Hedley

Fatality was discovered by passing tow truck driver

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
COVID rapid tests in long-term care key during vaccine rollout: B.C. care providers

‘Getting kits into the hands of care providers should be a top priority,’ says former Health Minister

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Most Read