Pumpkins for Safe House

Published 4:13 pm Monday, October 18, 2010

Will Honeycutt pauses in the First Presbyterian Church of Alabaster Cumberland Pumpkin Patch.

For nine years now, the First Presbyterian Church of Alabaster (formerly Elliottsville Cumberland) has sold pumpkins during the month of October as a part of its outreach program.

The money made off these sales does not in any way benefit the church coffers.

This year, the session of the church voted to split the proceeds from the pumpkin sale between Safehouse, Shelby County Foster Children and The Foundry.

Safehouse has been a shelter for many women who have had to escape an abusive situation in the middle of the night with only their children and the clothes on their back. The need for secrecy and speed is of utmost importance. Safehouse provides shelter, counseling, case management, community resource referrals and other services to help these women obtain self-sufficiency. They also provide an advocacy program for accompanying victims to hospitals and court appearances.

The Foundry attempts to restore hope and rebuild the lives of addicts, ex-inmates and the homeless. Men and women come through The Foundry’s doors the way scrap metal comes through a metal foundry — seemingly hopeless and useless. Through the process of melting, molding, pouring, shaking, cleansing and grinding, lives are reshaped.

The Shelby County Foster Children program oversees foster children in the area. Currently in Alabama, there are more than 6,000 children in foster care. Some need care for a few days, others will be adopted or reunited with their biological family. Their needs are many.

Pumpkins are priced a little higher than your grocery store, but think of what you are contributing.

Your kids can share the adventure of finding just the right pumpkin for carving as they run through the hundreds to choose from. You can snap pictures for your memory book. The kids can be told how the money is used to help others, which provides a wonderful early lesson in community discipleship.

The pumpkins are sent by truck from New Mexico each year for a set price. Everyone benefits. Volunteers from the church “man” the patch in three-hour shifts. The church has decorative gourds for sale and friendly folks to help you. First Presbyterian Church of Alabaster runs the pumpkin patch with the help of church volunteers who sign up throughout the month of October. Without their help, this outreach would fail. Year after year good things come from 30 days of giving time to this project.

First Presbyterian Church of Alabaster is a Cumberland “open house” congregation. All are welcome.

Sandra Thames can be reached at bobthames1942@yahoo.com.