Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hello everyone!
I have had several friends tell me that backpacks are 50% off at Big Lots! We are working to collect 500 new backpacks for the Thanksgiving Bash on November 8th. Although we have received some generous donations, we are still shy  of halfway toward our goal. We hope that you will prayerfully consider donating backpacks, as they usually last only about 6 months on the street, and the numbers of homeless in the city of Columbia is increasing. Oscar recently reported that the number within the city limits has grown to an estimated 5500. There is much work to be done. 
If you need the link for the wholesale backpacks please let me know. If you are interested in finding a way to participate in this ministry, I would be happy to answer questions for you.
Thank you so much, and God bless!
Jeannette Maybin
Keepin' It Real Ministries

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Greetings in the Name of Jesus!
Keepin’ It Real Ministries is getting ready to celebrate its 9th annual Thanksgiving Bash on November 8th in Finlay Park. We are preparing to bless 500 homeless and less fortunate people with a meal, as well as new backpacks with hoodies, t-shirts, and toiletries. In order to reach this goal, we need volunteers willing to donate these items; attached you will find a list of online resources offering bulk pricing.  Help will also be needed for several Saturdays before the Bash, when we will pre-load the backpacks for the big day.
We will also need donations of prepared food for the meal. We are in need of turkey, ham, chicken pieces, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, mac n cheese, and cranberry sauce to feed 500. If you would like to commit to a food donation, please email me, and I will add you to our list.  
On the day of the Bash, volunteers should arrive at 2 pm. Worship will begin promptly at 2:30. During the service, we will be pre-load the meals, so that they are ready for speedy distribution following worship. There will be many tasks for volunteers that day, everything from preparing meals, to helping with backpack and used clothing distribution, and assisting with the worship service. I will be sending out lots of updates in the coming months, so we hope that you will ask your friends, church, and co-workers to participate. If you are unable to be with us that day, we hope that you will support us through prayer. Please pray that we able to share the gospel and win hearts for Jesus.  Pray that we will begin relationships with people so that we can assist them toward recovery.
Pastor Oscar reports that donations, including what are given as offerings on Sundays have fallen off, making it difficult to pay the rent on storage units at the U-Haul and keep gas in the van. If you are lead to make a donation, please mail it to 1037 Elmwood Ave, Box 11, Columbia, SC 29201. Donations can also be placed in the offering box during worship in the park. We worship in the Gadsden Street end of the park every Sunday, at 3 pm.
If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, please email us! Help is always needed sorting clothes at the U-Haul, helping to feed downtown on Thursday evenings, and I would love help plugging ministry event info into news media websites.  Let us know if you would like to help!
We hope that we will hear from you, and especially hope to see you in the park! Thank you and God bless!
Jeannette Maybin
Keepin’ It Real Ministries

Friday, August 14, 2015

Greetings from Keepin’ It Real Ministries!
Hello everyone! Hope you are keeping cool in this heat! Please keep the homeless and less fortunate in your prayers this summer.
There are several items that we need to share with you:
·         Keepin’ It Real is involved with a new service. Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (1100 Sumter St.) feeds a breakfast for the homeless at 8 am on Sunday mornings. They asked Pastor Oscar to offer a worship service at that time, so Keepin’ It Real has been celebrating worship there for several months now. If you would like to visit or be involved in this service, you are very welcome to attend!
          Pastor Oscar reports that he is almost out of Bibles. He likes to be able to offer Bibles to anyone who wants one. If you would like to help, please let us know.
            Although there is no official bottled water distribution because of city regulations, Oscar still distributes water on Sundays and Thursdays, and likes to have an inventory on hand for when it is needed. If you would like to donate water, it can be dropped at U-Haul Moving and Storage on Elmwood Avenue.
          Summer always means a critical shortage of men’s clothing, especially t-shirts and pants (waist sizes 30-38).
         Volunteers are always needed at the storage units to help sort clothing donations. Diane Gadsden was heading up some time slots on Wednesday and Friday mornings. If you are interested in assisting in this way, please call or text Diane at 803.457.1391.
            The city is enforcing parking and time regulations in the park. If you join us for worship, please be very careful not to park on the grass.
         Please be in prayer about the Thursday Evening Feeding. Volunteers are needed to help with preparation on Thursdays from noon – 5pm, when the food must be heated and boxed for transport to the feeding site (the parking lot of Zion Baptist Church, 801 Washington St.) Volunteers are also needed to help serve. The ministry is seeking the use of a church kitchen where the prep could take place. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, we would be grateful!
          Our biggest challenge, coming November 8th, is the Thanksgiving Bash!! We are making plans to bless 500 people that day. We need to collect 500 new large backpacks, 500 new t-shirts, socks and toiletries. With back-to-school this month, this is a great time to initiate a back pack drive for the homeless. We will also provide a Thanksgiving style meal for 500, and will be seeking donations of 8 turkeys, 6 hams, 500 pieces of chicken, 500 servings each of mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, and cranberries. If you and your friends are interested in helping, we ask that you commit to the number of items or servings that you hope to donate, and let us know of your commitment. T-shirts and socks can be seconds and irregulars (online sources include Cotton Connection, North Pines Wholesale Clothing, and Brook Textiles). Wholesale Stockroom carries 19” backpacks by the case with free shipping. If you would like help with this event, we hope that you will contact us.
·         A member of our board has heard that there may be a turkey shortage this November. If you are thinking of donating a turkey, you may want to take this into consideration.
I know that this is a lot of information to take in! We hope that you will prayerfully consider whether or not you can help this year. Please be in prayer for the homeless, the less fortunate, and for the ministry as we and our volunteers work to serve. We appreciate your support in the past! Thank you and God bless!
Jeannette Maybin
Keepin’ It Real Ministries

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Greetings in the Name of Jesus!
I wanted to let you know where we are with food commitments, backpacks, and t-shirts, as well as share some info for volunteers. The menu is pretty much complete, although we have some food in need of cooks! We have3 turkeys, and about 50 lbs of chicken leg quarters, that need to be “adopted” and prepared. There are also lots of veggies that will need to be heated that day. If you are up for the challenge, please let me know!!
We are close to our goal numbers for backpacks and t-shirts, but Oscar says that he will be happy if a few more come in. We don’t want to run short.
If you are free Saturday (28th), we will be at the storage units at U-Haul Moving and Storage (Elmwood Avenue) at 2 pm. We will be pre-loading backpacks with t-shirts so that they will be ready for distribution on the 12th Please let me know if you would like to help!
If you are planning on coming out to help on the 12th, we ask that you try to come at 2:30. Food will be unloaded from cars at the gate, and then you will need to move your car. (We promise that the tables will be in position where they will stay for the day!!!) There is a huge parking lot (Employment office) located diagonally across from the corner of Gadsden and Taylor Streets. There will be a sign-in table with name tags and information near the gate. 
Here is some important info for volunteers:
ORIENTATION (will begin at approximately 2:40, worship will begin at 3 pm)
Pastor Oscar will briefly discuss safety and common sense info for volunteers.
Please join us for a brief prayer before we serve.
Brian will steer everyone to area coordinators so that you can hear a brief description of your task. Areas of service are:
·         FOOD SERVING LINE – In order to stay within the city’s time limit, food servers will QUIETLY preload plates during worship so that meals can be distributed quickly after the service. We will need food servers, plate carriers, bread and dessert cutters, meal stackers, trash control, etc. See food server handouts on serving line.
·         HAND SANITIZER AND PAPER TOWEL DISTRIBUTORS – for those waiting in the food line. Welcome the worshipers and invite them to come to the park every Sunday at 3 for worship and a meal. Remind people to save their plates if they think they might want seconds.
·         THE CROSS – help distribute index cards and pens for writing prayer concerns. Several volunteers will distribute thumb tacks so that prayer concerns can “nailed” to the cross.
·         PRAYER WARRIORS – offer prayer for individuals as needs and concerns are expressed.
·         BACKPACK DISTRIBUTION – assist at the backpack station
·         CLOTHING DISTRIBUTION – assist at the clothing station
·         Stack food pans by type on tables. Food in coolers and boxes may remain below the tables to stay warm.
·         Plate carriers will “ferry” plates down the outsides of the 2 lines, holding plates for servers to fill.
·         Food servers will fill plates from the insides of the 2 serving lines.
·         Food servers should give small portions of all 3 meats. Go easy on serving sizes. We have a lot of meals to prepare.
·         Can openers – cranberry sauce and fruit cocktail cans may need to be opened.
·         Bread and dessert preparers will slice bread and desserts at an adjacent table and keep the pans on the serving line filled.
·         Wax paper and cutlery placers – cover the food with a sheet of wax paper to separate food from cutlery packet, bread, and dessert.
·         Bread and dessert servers - add these items on top of wax paper
·         Meal stackers will close plates and stack on the end table. If cardboard sheets are available, place them between layers of meals to stabilize the stack.
·         Custom plates – If someone states that there are foods which they cannot eat (ie pork or an allergy) a custom plate may be prepared for that individual.
·         Drink table – distribute drinks. One per person, please.
·         Trash control – volunteers will be needed to remove empty food pans from the line and keep up with trash removal throughout the afternoon. As the food service winds down, volunteers will be needed to walk around with garbage bags to gather people’s trash.
We hope that it will help everyone to be familiar with what is needed ahead of the 12th. We appreciate you all and look forward to seeing you soon! Thank you and God bless!
Jeannette Maybin
Keepin’ It Real Ministries

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Greetings from Keepin’ It Real Ministries!
God is so faithful! We are coming up on the 10th anniversary of Keepin’ It Real! There have certainly been bumps in the road, but it is God’s will that this ministry share the gospel and serve His people. He continues to sustain Pastor Oscar and the ministry. On Sunday, April 12, at 3 pm in Finlay Park, we plan to bless 500 homeless and less fortunate people, and we hope and pray that you will join us in our efforts! The Anniversary Celebration is our chance to worship, turn over prayer concerns to God, provide a meal, distribute backpacks with t-shirts and toiletries, and offer additional clothing.
If you would like to help, food commitments and donations of the following items are still needed:
·         5 turkeys, 4 hams, 300 pieces of chicken
·         400 servings of mac n’ cheese, 400 servings of mashed potatoes, a large pot of gravy, 200 servings of rice, 200 servings of sweet                 potatoes
·         500 new backpacks and 500 new t-shirts
·         Volunteers who would like to serve food, help with backpack and clothing distribution, distribute cards and pens for prayer             concerns, serve as prayer warriors, and help with other assorted tasks.
T-shirts that are seconds and irregulars are OK (and more cost effective). Backpacks may be difficult to find in stores this time of year. We have found a wholesaler who offers 24 large backpacks for $158 (with free shipping). If you and your small group or colleagues are interested in going in together on backpacks, please contact me and I will send you the link.
We appreciate you and hope you would like to participate! Thank you and God bless!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Pastor Oscar and Keepin’ It Real Ministries would like to thank all of you who provided food, hats, gloves, coats, blankets, and gave of your time on Christmas to serve the homeless. We served over 250 people, and  many people were grateful for the meal, but also appreciative of the love and conversation. Thank you so much for your willingness to be the hands and feet of Christ!
Happy New Year and God bless!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hello everyone!
It is hard to believe that Christmas is next Thursday! We are scheduled to feed at 4 pm on Christmas Day, at the Transit Station on the corner of Laurel and Sumter Streets. We have commitments for some of the food, but are still in need of  chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac n cheese, and sweet potatoes. Someone also donated 4 cases of brown and serve rolls that need to be baked, if you have oven space. If you would like to help, would you please email us at keepinitrealministriessc@gmail.com to let us know what you plan to bring? It helps us to plan, and to be able to tell people what is still needed as we get closer to Christmas
Pastor Oscar would like volunteers to arrive around 3:30. He likes to give volunteers a brief orientation, and we usually pray together before we serve.

This time of year is especially difficult for people who are homeless. We hope that you will be in prayer for them and for the ministry, as we attempt to serve them. We hope that you are able to come out to share your food, your fellowship, and your smile. You will be much appreciated.
Hope you have a very merry and blessed Christmas!