By: Tiaira Turner
OSU Social Work Intern with Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministries, Academic Year 2013/14
Over winter break I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Good Tidings Christmas Store, Hilliard, 2013. As an OSU student interning with SON Ministries, I was given the opportunity to help plan and put the Good Tidings Christmas Store together. Working with SON Ministries, the volunteers on the Leadership Team, Pastor Irma and other members of Cornerstone Church, I was able to see the entire behind the scenes work that went into making Good Tidings possible. From these women who did the planning and organizing, to the volunteers and donors that made the store possible, to the families who were filled with JOY and made this night a TRUE success.
It was such a wonderful time watching the children happily running around in excitement as their parents were downstairs shopping for Christmas. It was great to see the hope and joy in each of the family’s faces that I was able to help as a Volunteer Personal Shopper. The scene was just amazing and I felt very blessed to be able to be the “hands” of God, serving families that I have grown familiar with through my internship work with SON Ministries.
The love and joy that filled The Good Tidings Christmas Store made all the hours and hours of work by so many well worth it. I remember standing back once the store was coming to a close, just meditating on all of the relationships that even I myself have made with many of the families from Kids Club, and with the SON Ministries volunteers. I am not from Hilliard but I feel so welcomed… What I love most about this community is no one is looked down upon as lesser than, and no one is esteemed as better than. This truly is a community where neighbors LOVE and SERVE one another. As a social work student it is GREAT to be reminded that at the end of the day, love and relationships is what makes families – and communities – strong.
At SON Ministries, we build up COMMUNITY one respectful, empowering relationship at a time…
***Upon reading this article, Pastor Irma responded, “Great Job! If I was looking for a city to move to and read your article I would want to live in Hilliard!!”***
Once again we are affirmed that Hilliard is a special community!