The Missionary Newsletter - December 2011

Keisha's Miracle Give Joy This Christmas

Keisha"I remember having to make a decision whether I let the electricity be cut off and provide Christmas gifts for the children, or pay the electric bill and just figure out something else. I ended up paying my electric bill. We didn't have money for gifts; we barely had money for food."

Keisha decided that she never again wanted to feel the pain of telling her children there would be no Christmas presents. She was so glad to hear about Central Union Mission's Operation Christmas Miracle! Her children received toys and clothing at last year's program.

OCM girlI was teary eyed when I saw my 5 year old's face: she was screaming with joy … She asked me 'Mommy, did Santa Claus forget our family last year?' …I told her, 'Well, baby, Santa Claus didn't forget you this year!'"

Because of her health and the pressure of being a single mom, Keisha wasn't able to hold down a job. She ended up on welfare, surviving on Social Security from her son, food stamps and Medicaid. Her rent was only $44 a month, yet she could only pay the rent and the electric bill-with a little left over for food.

Now 30, Keisha is getting on her feet. She has completed her GED and is trying to secure a job with help from the Mission. She can't thank you enough for your help to make Operation Christmas Miracle possible.


Deborah Chambers and Jon Koehmstedt

Thank You

Thanks to Jon Koehmstedt, even more children will receive presents this year. His concern for DC children and Central Union Mission led him to start a website called This site tells Keisha's story and encourages Jon's friends and business contacts to contribute to Operation Christmas Miracle. We appreciate his dedication and love for our needy children.

Communications and Outreach Director
Deborah Chambers and Jon Koehmsted

Stories like Keisha's are why Central Union Mission created Operation Christmas Miracle. To these children, getting some clothes and toys from someone who cares about them is a miracle. To be that miracle, you can sponsor a child or a family through Operation Christmas Miracle 2011.

When you contribute, you'll find out some basic information about your child or family, read stories and receive a thank-you note and photos from the distribution party. You'll see first-hand how your support made a difference in a child's life.

What's more, we actually have children on our waiting list, so we appreciate your thoughtful gift even after the Operation Christmas Miracle parties are over. We'll make sure your gift reaches a needy child through December 24.

Visit to find out all about becoming an Operation Christmas Miracle sponsor. Your sponsorship will be the miracle in a child's life this Christmas.

OCM Family

With your help, this family can have a blessed Christmas.

From the Executive Director
Open Your Heart this Season

Christmas and the New Year remind us just how thoroughly we've been blessed. How can we not share that blessing with those people around us?

They all need to know about God's love, but sometimes before they can hear us, they need to have full stomachs or warm beds. Here at Central Union Mission, we can take care of these basic needs so God's love can shine through.

You can thank God for His generous gift to you by sharing your blessings with the homeless people in Washington, DC. Would you consider ending your 2011 with a financial contribution to encourage our needy community? Thank you so much for your support.


Upcoming Events

WAVA Radiothon
Thursday, December 1
Listen to WAVA 105.1 FM today to hear stories about Central Union Mission and to make your donor pledge.

Operation Christmas Miracle Gift Distribution
Saturday, December 10 | 9:00 am
With our goal of 3,000 Christmas bags, we can use your help at this party for neighborhood children.

Seniors Luncheon
Wednesday, December 14 | 10:00 am
Seniors celebrate the Christmas season today with a special luncheon and program.

Operation Christmas Miracle Gift Distribution (Hispanic)
Saturday, December 17 | 8:00 am
Please help us hand out gift bags to Spanish-speaking children.

WHUR Toy Drive
Saturday, December 17
Stop by today to visit the on-air personalities and drop off a new toy for a needy child.

Food Depot Christmas Party
Monday, December 19
10:00 am
Food Depot patrons will enjoy this special Christmas celebration.

Christmas Dinner
Sunday, December 25 | 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm
Please help us serve Christmas dinner to the hungry people in our community.

New Year's Eve Program
Saturday, December 31
Praise God for our blessings at this New Year's Eve program.

Seniors Luncheon
Wednesday, January 11 | 10:00 am
Join us as we encourage our seniors with a New Year's program and lunch.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Program
Monday, January 17
This luncheon and program celebrates the legacy of Dr. King in our community.

For volunteering information, visit the website, or call Seamus Merrigan at 202-MISSION ext 249.

Executive Dinners

This fall, we were thrilled to host three Executive Dinners for Mission friends and supporters. Please join us for one of our next dinners this coming spring, featuring a delicious meal, music from the Mission men and a facility tour.

How Year-End Giving Helps

As you make plans for your year-end giving, please keep in mind several approaches. You'll want to consult your tax advisors for specifics, but here are some ideas:

Giving cash is straight-forward. It's tax-deductible up to fifty percent of your adjusted gross income, and larger gifts can be carried over and deducted in up to five upcoming years. As well, check if your employer has a gift-matching program to double your impact.

Holidays are a time for remembering; you may wish to give a Tribute Gift in honor or in memory of a loved one. To create this recognition, please contact Robert Taylor at 202-MISSION ext. 240.

If you are required to take distributions from your retirement fund, your donation to the Mission could spare you higher income taxes.

Gifts of stocks and bonds can benefit the Mission as well as give you a tax advantage, whether your investment has gained or lost value. Please contact Wanda McDow at 202-MISSION ext. 261 with questions about donating stocks and bonds to Central Union Mission.

Charitable gift annuities and real estate gifts are also opportunities for serving God through the Mission while managing your estate economically. Please contact Ted Myers at 301-233-3527.

Year-end giving is a helpful opportunity for using God's blessings wisely. Not only will your generous gift improve your position with the IRS, it will encourage many hungry, desperate people at the most severe time of need. Please call Deborah Chambers at 202-MISSION ext 227 for details.

Gift CatalogIntroducing
Central Union Mission's
Christmas Gift Catalog

What do you get for someone
who has everything?
How about HOPE for
someone who has nothing!

Do you have compassionate loved ones with hearts for helping? They may appreciate knowing that their gift from you is a "hand-up" for someone in need.

In your friend's honor, you can select a variety of useful items-like shoes, shaving kits and even haircuts and interview suits-for people who have no homes and are looking for jobs. You can select toys for children who will have no other Christmas presents. The financial gift you send will be used to buy the items you choose. We have gifts in every price range, but they are all priceless to the recipients.

Show That You Care -
Wear a Mission T-Shirt

$12 | Sizes Adult M-4XL

Central Union Mission Tshirts

Coat Drive Warms Up DC

Many thanks to WHUR FM 96.3 FM Howard University for collecting winter coats this October. At Central Union Mission, one of the three drop-off locations, friends donated 14 new coats, 52 used coats and $1,584 toward purchasing coats. WHUR listeners, we really appreciate you!

At Year's End, Winter Begins

It's fun to ring in the New Year in a warm house, but it's a difficult time for homeless people. What little comfort there was on the streets is chased off by the wind chill. Even the most stalwart grate-sleepers are forced to come inside for their own protection, so the need for warm beds and nutritious meals is even greater.

But our opportunities are greater, too. This winter, more desperate neighbors will learn about God's love and will have their stomachs and hearts warmed by our volunteers' selfless service. That's why we need you.

Will you please make a contribution to help sustain the Mission's efforts? Besides pleasing God, your year-end donation may be just what you need to make tax time a little easier.

winter coats
Central Union Mission | 1350 R Street NW | Washington, DC 20009 | 202.745.7118 |

Love Your Neighbor - Fall 2011

Mission Statement:
To glorify God through proclaiming and teaching the gospel, leading people to Christ, developing disciples,
and serving the needs of hurting people throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area.

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