Bridges Community Church at LaRosa

Bridges Church at LaRosa Gardens is a little congregation of about 25 mostly seniors with giant hearts and a determination to help those in need. This year, they purposed to spend ‑$2000 from their missions budget to partner with Ladysmith Resources Centre Association to serve their local community. After consultation with LRCA director, Christy Wood, Bridges promised to prepare 25 comfort packs for the local cold weather shelter. Each pack contained a washcloth, soap, hand towel, toque, razor, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss plus other toiletries and a snack. All the items were carefully packed into inexpensive thermal lunch bags and were turned over to the Resource Centre for distribution in late October.

The second project Bridges completed was “Ugly Quilts”. Two  utilitarian sleeping bags were constructed by LaRosa residents with help from other volunteers. With inspiration from My Brother’s Keeper instructions, these quilt used inexpensive shower curtains plus donated, used comforters and flannel sheets as liners to make cozy bed rolls to be used by two individuals “sleeping rough” in the Ladysmith area. Bridges also donated tarps and flashlights to accompany the quilts.

Finally, Bridges put together Christmas gifts for the local cold weather shelter. Bridges’ Pastor Kim Graham raided her quilt stash for Christmas fabrics that were sewn into gift bags. Each bag contained chocolates, warm gloves, socks, flashlight, calendar, pen and a few other treats. Gifts will be distributed to shelter guests on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Thanks to the amazing and generous response from local merchants and individuals, the original $2000 was stretched much farther than Bridges congregants could ever have imagined. Pastor Kim notes that 49th Parallel Groceries, Ladysmith Pharmasave, and The Great Canadian Dollar Store in Ladysmith all gave substantial discounts on purchased items while Tim Horton’s Ladysmith contributed several gift cards to add to the ones the church purchased for the Christmas packs. Local Dentist Dr. Blaikie donated toothpaste and dental floss; Oceanview Community Church contributed a huge bag of warm flannel sheets for the Ugly Quilts as well as gently used towels for the Comfort Packs. Many individuals added soaps, shampoo, and other toiletries, and a couple of people knit washcloths and toques. LaRosa Gardens’ activity coordinator Jen Gendron pitched in to help coordinate collecting donations and packing comfort packs and Christmas gifts.

When all the projects were completed, Bridges’ congregation was  delighted to discover there was enough money left from the original budget to purchase a $500 grocery gift card they donated to the Resource Centre in support of the nutrition portion  for Healthy Start  for babies.

For more information about Bridges Church at LaRosa Gardens local missions programs, contact Pastor Kim Graham at 250 754-4333 or check them out on Facebook .

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