help us throw a christmas party under the broadway bridge

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Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

help us throw a christmas party under the broadway bridge

as we get closer and closer to christmas, stress levels grow closer and closer to a breaking point. between numerous family gatherings, wrapping presents, cooking dinner and making sure that every single i has been dotted and t crossed, this time of the year, for many, is a chaotic race to the christmas finish line.

so i’d like to offer you one more thing thing to do.

but a good one more thing.

in fact, a great and important one more thing.

the reality is that christmas isn’t a time of joy and cheer and family togetherness for a lot of people. for a large community here in little rock, christmas is celebrated by waking up on the streets. it’s easy to devolve into clichés and hyperbolic language, but the reality is that we have the opportunity this christmas to truly help our homeless neighbors.

our church serves dinner to 50 or so (or more) people assembled under the broadway bridge once a month. this month, we’re excited that it just happens to fall on christmas eve. because of that, instead of just slopping a little bit of mashed potatoes and green beans on plates and calling it a night, we’re throwing a full out christmas party. many of our people have put a lot of work into and we’d love to extend a last-minute opportunity for you to contribute.

we, of course, are serving dinner (which is a mexican theme, just to switch things up), but in addition, we’ll be setting up a tree, lights and decorations. to make the night complete, we’re gonna be giving out gift bags with some functional items for surviving the streets of little rock.

my wife has taken the lead in organizing and overseeing the party and she gave me an updated list of items we’ve collected. here’s what we have (as of wednesday afternoon):

men’s socks: 97
women’s socks: 16
hats: 18
mugs: 20
men’s gloves: 48
women’s gloves: 4
chap stick: 44
sets of 2 hot hands: 174
scarves: 18
sleeping bags: 8
blankets: 14
hoodies: 3
fleece: 1
coats: 5

at this point, our biggest needs are as follows (in priority order):

sleeping bags

so, if you have any of these things or you wouldn’t mind making a quick run to walmart to obtain them, we’d be incredibly grateful.

in addition to these things, we could really use some more food. it looks like we’re covered on the main dishes, but to make the party more festive, we could use more cookies and brownies or little treats like that. by all means, if you’d like to make a larger dish, don’t hesitate to let us know.

if you have any of these things, you can let us know by doing one of the following things:

1. email my wife, christen, at christen [at] christenbyrd [dot] com
2. email me at ryan [at] eikonthechurch [dot] com
3. DM/contact me via twitter @RyanByrd or christen @ChristenByrd
4. write your message in sidewalk chalk somewhere around the downtown/quapaw quarter area (though this isn’t probably an efficient method…)

also, just as much as your stuff, we’d love your presence! if you’d like to come join us, we’ll be setting up just before 6 p.m. (on christmas eve) and begin just after 6 p.m. there’s not a lot of sorta standardized tasks, but our goal isn’t to have a disconnected experience, but rather just mingle, eat with and have conversations with those who attend. more than anything, we want to build relationships with people and allow them to have a humanizing time.

finally, if you’d like to wrap/assemble the gift bags, some of us at eikon will be meeting at our building tomorrow (12/23) at 1 p.m. to do this. (christen has informed me that she’s flexible on the time and that it can be moved if needed.) we don’t need a tremendous amount of people, but if you’d like to pitch in, it would be greatly appreciated.

we’re looking forward to our little party under the bridge and we’d love for you to have the opportunity to do just one more thing—one more really great thing.