BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM – Hundreds of residents and six charitable organisations in Oldbury, Sandwell received over 4,000 winter clothing and 3,000 care packages, donated by the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) or Church Of Christ.
The INC chapel grounds in Birmingham were filled with rows of winter coats, jackets, scarves and beanies as well as piles of care packages consisting of non-perishable goods and hygiene products during its Worldwide Aid To Humanity event. The donations were gathered from thousands of members of the INC across the United Kingdom. Entertainment through musical performances and spiritual uplifting were provided, as well as food and refreshments throughout the day.
Despite the adverse weather, volunteers of the INC were not hindered in showing their support and appreciation to the community.
“I just cannot believe that people have actually taken out their valuable time to come here today. This is something that I’m gonna take back into the community and let the people know what the Church Of Christ is doing for our community,” Councillor Rizwan Jalil, who represents the Oldbury ward, said.
Charitable organisations such as Human Appeal and Wrap Up Birmingham, Black Country Food Bank, Divine Love Foundation, Humanity First Food Bank and Selfless Sava were amongst those who received boxes of donations to support their cause.
Inspiring Communities Food Bank representative, Muhammed Bhayat, noted the numerous families in their area in Sandwell struggling amid the pandemic who are going to benefit from the charitable event of the INC. “The work you’ve all done has been absolutely outstanding,” he said.
Councillor Suzanne Hartwell was touched by the sheer volume of donations and most especially the happiness and love she felt throughout the event.
“When I come through the doors, the sheer volume of coats, hats, and scarves, but more than anything—the happiness; it was absolutely oozing. It was very much like a comfort blanket, it contaminated me. You blew me away, you really have. You touched my heart,” Councillor Hartwell said.
“You’re giving your hand to the vulnerable in our community, for those who haven’t got a lot. That is what I would take away, how you treated the most vulnerable in our community and the love that you shared,” she added.
Nasmin Hussain, a representative from Sandwell Council, expressed her appreciation to the INC Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo: “A big thank you again to him for all the hard work he’s done in setting up the organization and supporting local communities worldwide. Thank you very much.”
The act of giving also touched the hearts of many attendees. Two of them, Lindy and Philomina, who were among those who received donations, said they felt hope and God’s love because of the event.
“It’s touching really, and it’s giving people a belief that you know what, God is here. Say, I’ve experienced God’s love today,” they said.
Through the Aid To Humanity, a program of the INC’s charitable arm, the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, the Iglesia Ni Cristo continues to help communities with their needs—from donating food items to establishing eco-farming sites throughout the world that provide livelihood and housing to those in need. INC members and volunteers aim to extend help and contribute positively to their communities, most especially to those in need.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo was registered in the Philippines on July 27, 1914 by its first Executive Minister, Brother Felix Y. Manalo. Since then, the Church has spread to 159 countries and territories around the world, with its members coming from 148 ethnic backgrounds.
The rapid growth of the Church is spearheaded by the dynamic leadership of its current Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo.
For more about the Church and its activities, please visit www.iglesianicristo.net.