Happy COVID-oh-ween, Outreach Results
Our nation and the world continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mostly every year, for the past 5 years, we did an outreach to our neighborhood or to a neighboring neighborhood.
This year, because of the corona virus, we wondered if anyone would knock on our door or stop by our driveway where we would have candy waiting.
Over the last few years, we saw less and less children knocking on doors in our neighborhood and that made us think that parents were changing how they did Halloween.
With school parties and house parties, the streets were quieter and quieter.
So this year, we decided if the Trick-or-Treaters wouldn’t come to us, we would go to them.
On a late Saturday afternoon, on Halloween 2020, me and my wife loaded up a cart with candy, coloring books and Halloween Bible Tracts and heading out into the streets!
It felt like a ghost town… no one was around. There wasn’t anyone washing their cars or kids playing. There were signs of life, like a huge bouncy house, but no one was bouncing or even in the yard where it lived.
No problem, part of our mission was to knock on doors that day and we were ready.
Knock-Knock, Trick or Treat
After one hour, very few doors opened. We were grateful to have a few open and we gave them our Halloween packet and offered to pray for them if they like.
We saw that there were more mature people than we expected—parents with adult children or no children at all.
Our community has a mix of Hispanic and Black population, although it is mostly Hispanic. Many of the Hispanic population are Spanish-only and my wife jumped in to translate or inform them of what we were doing.
Success or Not?
Yes, a success! I felt like it was a success. Why? Because we learned some valuable things about our neighbors. Those that we were able to speak with gave us a slightly clearer picture of what the needs of our community are.
- There are more older adults without children living with them, in our community
- There are more older adults with adult children still living with them
- There were others who were doing Halloween parties in their homes (we need to partner with them)
- There is a stronger color-line than we thought (an invisible line that separates Blacks and Hispanics interactions)
- Trick or Treating may be lost forever in favor of small group parties for kids.
- It takes more people power to cover our neighborhood of 200 homes.
Overall, we did get to give out candy, create a nice Jesus Loves You trick or treat cart (see pics below) and got to speak to some more members who were delighted to see us. We hope the delight was for us, but it could have been for the candy!
Let me encourage you to reach out to your neighbors. Have them over for a cup of coffee. Ask them how they are doing and if there is anything you can pray for. Jesus told us that we were to love our neighbor as ourselves and tell them about His story in our lives. Mark 12:31