From August 2016, the Paterson, New Jersey Chapter of WFWP was really busy working on our Annual School Supplies Drive. The school supplies that were collected went to the organizations listed to the right. An additional contribution of 15 bags of school supplies from one of Mrs. Elizabeth Yamada’s neighbors came in after the initial donation.
Then in October, Mrs. Elizabeth Yamada was invited by Dr. Judy Foster to speak at The Christian Fellowship Church in Paterson. She was one of four panelists, and her selected topic was WFWP’s theme “Living by the Logic of Love.” She read WFWP Co-Founder, Rev. Moon’s poem, “The Crown of Glory,” and included Jesus’ words, “Love One Another”. She included a personal testimony, and ended with a passage from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Love is the only force capable of transforming our enemies into friends.” She then handed out bumper stickers stating “One Family Under God”, and then tied everything up by concluding that our Creator and Heavenly Parent is asking us to all live together as brothers and sisters.
After a wonderful lunch and getting to know the women in the group through fellowship, Mrs. Yamada could really feel the essence of mother’s heart, the natural gift that God has given to women, r radiating throughout the room. “Racial and religious barriers were no longer in the air, just sisters in faith were all that remained,” she told me afterwards. Since then she is helping them even more by serving in their food pantry and sharing stories of faith with them.
In November, we kicked off our Annual Winter Clothing Drive, a little later than usual but still in time to warm many people. Even though the drive started around Thanksgiving, we immediately received many donations of gloves, hats, and scarves. The first 45 hats and 20 pairs of gloves were promptly delivered the day after Thanksgiving.
December became the month of miracles for us. As we continued our clothing drive, “Miracles of Christmas” started to pop up everywhere we went. Mrs. Elizabeth Yamada was standing in line at The Children’s Place clothing store when another customer behind her inquired about why she was purchasing so many items. Mrs. Yamada spoke about how the WFWP Paterson Chapter was collecting winter items for an annual clothing drive for various organizations in the community of Paterson. The woman told Mrs. Yamada to remain in the store after she purchased her items. The woman proceeded to leave the line and returned 10 minutes later with several bags that she threw into Mrs. Yamada’s arms. She had purchased more than 25 children’s coats. She then gave Mrs. Yamada a great big hug and said, “Thank you!” She felt so good to give, and when Mrs. Yamada asked her for her name, she stated that she didn’t want any credit. “I just feel so good doing this today!” Miracles continue to happen!
For children especially, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without toys! So, besides clothing, we included 80 brand new toys in our drive.
As the winter months grew colder and we moved into January, our collection of donated items grew bigger! We collected over 250 coats and more than 200 gloves, hats, and scarves. Other items included in our drive were more than 20 blankets, dishes, utensils, children’s books, toiletries, laundry soap, shoes, boots, and family clothing. A working TV and vacuum were also included in the mix! Over 80 large bags of items went through Mrs. Claire Haider’s porch!
The New Year 2017 opened with Mrs. Claire Haider being asked to be the Keynote Speaker at the Passaic County African American Women, Inc.’s 19th Annual Empowerment Summit. This is the first time that someone who is not of African American descent is giving the Keynote Address. The event will be hosted in March (see the flyer in upcoming events).
As we serve the community of Paterson, WFWP Co-Founders’ standard of love and service is becoming known everywhere we go! WFWP’s name is well-known in Paterson as a trustworthy organization.
*The Paterson Chapter would like to give special recognition to the Hackensack and KEA (Korean Evangelical Association), Chapters of WFWP in New Jersey; the Bergen County Board of Social Services, the community of Carlstadt, New Jersey, and the Angel’s Attic store for all of their incredible contributions to our Annual Winter Clothing Drive!*