Our mission is to give a “Warm Hug” to people within our church family and also to anyone in our community who needs a loving, caring touch. Our “hugs” have also been distributed to area nursing homes, chemotherapy and radiation centers, Children’s Advocacy Center, Ronald McDonald house, area ambulances, Allied Hospice and the Gino Merli Veterans Center. This is one way Countryside is fulfilling our mission statement to spread God’s love and grace in a spirit filled community.
A “Warm Hug” is a fleece shawl with pockets that we fill with handmade pocket crosses with a prayer note, tissues, hand sanitizers, lotion, candy, notepad and pen and a note from Countryside wishing them well. Every time someone uses this shawl we hope they feel the love with which it was made. We have given away over 3000 shawls. We meet about once a month to cut, sew and package the “hugs”. It is like an old fashioned sewing bee during which we enjoy and have fellowship with one another.
This outreach was created in 2007 and continues at Countryside until the present time. We are a self-funded outreach thanks to everyone who supports our annual “Dutch Auction” and pot-luck dinner. Congregants also donate the items for the pockets.
Our sincere hope for the future is that Countryside will be a vital member of the community and will have this and many more programs to connect with our family, friends and neighbors. We thank God for all he has provided.