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Examiner
  • Church members 'Freezin' for a Reason' this weekend

  • Members of First Christian Church of Blue Springs will once again be spending the weekend outside, raising awareness and money for a worthy cause.

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  • Members of First Christian Church of Blue Springs will once again be spending the weekend outside, raising awareness and money for a worthy cause.
    This is the seventh year for “Freezin’ for a Reason.” The goal of the annual event is to collect blankets, winter coats and funds for Operation Chillout, the church’s ministry. The group will camp out at the church, 701 N.W. 15th St., beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and ending at 10 a.m. Sunday.
    Instead of tents, a “homeless camp” will be constructed on the front lawn of the church. This is constructed out of salvaged materials such as cardboard, plywood, wood pallets and plastic tarps. Only found objects are allowed to construct the makeshift camp. There is also no electricity for those volunteers camping out, only the heat from barrel fires.
    During the two-day campout, everything from blankets and coats to hats, gloves and other winter gear will be collected. Those donations will be a part of Operation Chillout, which supplies 18 area agencies with necessary supplies to help the homeless of Kansas City. Over the last six years, it is estimated that the church has collected and distributed an estimated 250,000 blankets.
    “We are a mission-oriented church, so we do a lot of projects where the congregation gets behind it,” said Bryan Couch, a church member at First Christian. “We have such a huge homeless problem in the city. Because of the economy and the job market, people are hurting so much. They do not have places to live and need help.”
    Freezin’ for a Reason actually began as just a blanket drive. That first year, the drive did not go as well as expected, so changes were made to get more people involved in raising awareness of the ever-increasing homeless problem in the metropolitan area. Since those changes were made, the church has become essentially a “go-to” place for organizations to come seeking assistance with donations.
    All donations can be dropped at the church, 701 N. W. 15th St. The church also takes monetary donations. Be sure to write “Operation Chillout” on the check so it goes to the proper ministry.
     
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