As I write this, the FIRM team and I are frantically preparing for the Twenty-second Annual FIRM Community Christmas event! Each year, we provide hundreds of gifts, food, arts and crafts, hot chocolate and much more to the refugee community in Fresno. This year’s event has significantly expanded and we are excited to add a distribution of clothes/jackets/blankets, haircuts, dental services and even live music! We have had more registrations than ever before and are expecting over 1,000 guests on December 17!
As I look back over 2016, the words “expand”, “increase” and “grow” come to mind. I often find myself using these words more and more when I share about FIRM with churches, community members, friends and family. This year, God has increased the ministry of FIRM so that we can continue to try and meet the huge needs of the refugee community. However, it seems sometimes that our growth does not keep up the pace with the needs of underserved and still marginalized people groups. There is always more need and more work to be done regardless of the increase we have seen before our eyes this year.
This has only been possible through people like you and generous churches from throughout the United States that faithfully support the ministry. Many of our donors are amazed at all that God has done at FIRM this year! I just gave a presentation to a supporting group of churches that told me that they “had never heard of any other ministry like FIRM in the whole country.” We are unique in the diversity of those we serve, in the services we provide and in the motivation we have from Jesus Christ to do so.
The end of the year is the most crucial time of the year for FIRM. Did you know that nationally, over 30% of giving to organizations like FIRM happens in December? The needs of the community we serve is ever-expanding and we are in desperate need of the support of people like you. Your support goes not only to “keep the lights on,” but also to direct services for people we serve every day. This year, we have assisted many homeless with meeting needs, helped several families that lost their homes to fire, helped new refugee families begin their lives again through basic necessities and much, much more! Your support allows for us to be there for individuals and families that have nowhere else to turn!
Would you please consider making a contribution (all donations are tax deductible) to FIRM as we end a truly incredible year of ministry? Please go to our website to donate today or feel free to write us a check at 1940 N Fresno Street, Fresno, CA 93703. This is the most crucial part of the year and I sincerely hope you will join us for another incredible year in 2017!
Peace and Love,
Zachary D. Darrah
Executive Director, FIRM