United Gospel Rescue Mission and You: The Perfect Christmas Match!

Dec 20, 2007

Looking for a way to live out the bright promise of the Christmas season? Has Rita Cooksey got ideas for you! She’s the office manager at Poplar Bluff’s United Gospel Rescue Mission, and the “season of giving” is among the very busiest in her year. Not surprisingly, the mission is in search of volunteers to make its 39th annual Christmas celebration a success!

Indeed it’s a busy time for most everyone, but surely not so much that a body can’t squeeze in a few hours to help keep a blessed Poplar Bluff tradition thriving! Some people even shape this kind of opportunity into a family affair, and a service-oriented learning experience for older children. So here’s the plan:

  1. FRIDAY: Starting at 9:00 am at the loading dock of the Black River Coliseum, volunteers will be packing 1000 “Christmas boxes” for Saturday distribution at the mission’s Pine Street Thrift Store site. The Christmas boxes will contain everything needed to make a hearty Christmas dinner, including potatoes, ham, and stuffing mix.
  2. SATURDAY: Starting at 8:00 am at UGRM’s Pine Street Thrift Store location, volunteers will be loading Christmas boxes for delivery throughout Poplar Bluff. Drivers and delivery helpers wanted, too!
  3. CHRISTMAS DAY: Starting at 7:00 am and going into the early afternoon, volunteer servers will be dishing up a hot and satisfying Christmas dinner at the mission’s shelter for the homeless, located at 508 Cherry Street. People will be needed to prep carry-out trays for take-away meals; and at about 10:30 am, drivers and delivery helpers will set out with meals for the homebound. The shelter’s dining-area clean-up team always has room for one more as well. Christmas dinner at the shelter is “just a big party,” says Cooksey, who will be easily identified on that lively occasion by her stylish holiday Santa-hat-with-bell-tassel. “If you need to find me that day,” she says, “just follow the bell.”

UGRM expects to be serving between 800 and 1000 meals on Christmas Day. They’re quite modestly staffed, so community participation is critical to an endeavor like their annual Christmas dinner.

So festive and meaningful is the UGRM Christmas experience that some volunteers strive to make it a yearly event on their own calendars. And as you can see, there are still plenty of ways for you and yours to get in on the action, too!

May the warmth, love, and goodwill of this season be yours, now and throughout the coming year!

For more information on United Gospel Rescue Mission’s Yuletide and other volunteer-powered activities, and how you can help, please call Rita Cooksey at 573-785-4683.