I am never failed to be amazed at the generosity of people. I’ve just finished watching Children in Need and as “The Totaliser” was read out all I could say was ‘wow’! The stories were moving and certainly pulled on your heart strings. But it was wonderful to contribute to something that makes a difference in someone’s life.

Day in and day out in North Down I witness generosity. I have the privilege of managing the Storehouse North Down food bank, I work part time for Kiltonga Christian Centre who run the furniture storehouse and I organise an English Class for those who have come to live in our community whose first language isn’t English. Through these different outreaches I frequently find myself saying not only “Wow” but “thank you God”.

Week by week I’m “wowed” by the amount of donated food items (at times I know it is the widow’s mite), which allows us to distribute hampers on your behalf to individuals and families who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own. At Christmas we expect to distribute 450 hampers so every item donated is vital.

I’m wowed by the commitment of volunteers who run the Store House lunch club every other Sunday in the Happy Bean coffee shop.

I’m wowed by people who think of an idea and run with it, like Conlig Presbyterian who launched an initiative called ‘Handbags of Hope’. Already there has been a great response. A handbag is filled with toiletries etc and like the storehouse hampers will contain a Christian message of hope this Christmas and will bring joy to many ladies in our community.

I’m wowed that this is the fifth year of BICCI’s annual Christmas Day lunch which this year will be hosted and organised by Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church and sponsored by a local car dealership.

Daily I’m wowed by the amount of good furniture donated to Kiltonga Christian Centre which in turns helps someone set up home, perhaps through moving out of Simon Community, Women’s Aid or prison.

People who attend the free English classes in our town are wowed by the help, support and the friendliness of many, especially the refugee families who have found themselves placed in Bangor.
For all the wow moments – your generous donations, your generous giving of your time as volunteers, your generosity of taking the time to make people feel welcome, I say thank you to you and ‘Thank You to God’. Everything you do makes a difference in someone’s life.

The label on every Storehouse hampers reads ‘A small gift because God really loves you’. But the greatest gift God gave us was His Son – now that’s the biggest WOW of all!