Acts 435 Giving to anyone who has need

As I was cycling home from Bishopthorpe Palace yesterday I felt a sudden surge of excitement and anticipation. I would be back on Tuesday and that would be December - my favourite month. It always has been. It helps that it starts with my birthday, but actually it is everything to do with Christmas that I love. When I lived in Guatemala I really missed the carols, the nativity plays, roast turkey and all the trimmings, mulled wine and mince pies. This year I have the privilege of introducing my Guatemalan mother-in-law to a British Christmas and I am looking forward to it.

I love that anticipation - Christmas markets, birthday celebrations, my son in nativity plays at school and Beavers, my mum's Christmas dinner, the service of Nine Lessons and Carols at York Minster, ...

At Acts 435 we have had a couple of moments of great anticipation this month. For our Children in Need appeal we invited you to get involved in supporting some specific children in need featured on our website. We were overwhelmed by the response - all 44 requests in the 'children' category were met by 10pm on Friday, and actually, with new requests being posted through the week, a total of 54 specific #childreninneed requests were met that week. Absolutely amazing - thank you to all who gave.

This week saw another moment of anticipation - we were invited to participate in the launch of CapitalMass, a joint venture between the Diocese of London and Church Urban Fund, equipping and engaging parishes to tackle poverty and inequality in London. This launch, which took the form of a marketplace of stalls and speakers, was held in St. Paul's Cathedral crypt and was a great opportunity to celebrate what churches and charities are doing to respond to the diverse needs of people in poverty in London. We hope the connections made will lead to new partnerships and an ability to make a difference through Acts 435 for more people in need in the capital.

Story of the Month

It is fitting to have our story of the month focus on children -

S in Cornwall is a young mum of 2 who has left her abusive husband and is now working through contact issues through the courts. Her husband left her with debts, which she has not been able to clear. S is waiting for her benefits application to be processed and is undergoing counselling treatment. S's son has been sleeping on a sofa for months. On receiving £95 through Acts 435, S was thrilled and commented: "It has really made a difference; he sleeps through the night much more comfortably now and mornings are a lot happier! This bed has made a massive difference to us and I'm really grateful."

I love collapsing into my bed at night - I am so glad we have ensured this little boy can now do the same rather than trying to get comfortable on a sofa.

Looking Ahead

So as we look ahead to December, remember it's not too late to order your Christmas Pack to make an Acts 435 Christmas Tree - more details here http://acts435.org.uk/blog/2015/10/make-an-acts-435-christmas-tree.html

Our Acts 435 bags are now available for purchase - this was a suggestion at our Donor afternoon tea in July. http://acts435.org.uk/blog/2015/11/acts-435-cotton-bags.html

We will be focusing our social media conversations on encouraging people to give #anothergift this Christmas. As they shop for gifts for family and friends, we are inviting everyone to consider giving an additional gift, but to someone in need on our website. Thank you for your ongoing support and help in spreading the word. http://www.acts435.org.uk/give

With our stall at the CapitalMass launch
With our stall at the CapitalMass launch