Saturday December 14, 2019 at 4pm, the Choka Lyme Team is organizing the 10th Annual Toy Drive in the community. This year it will be at Club Jouvay 147-02 Liberty Ave, Jamaica, NY 11435. Admission is free and we encourage you to bring your entire family to this worthwhile event. The toys that are collected will be donated directly to the SCO Family Of Services. The tangible goal of this is event is to collect more toys than in the past years. We know that we can count on our community to not only donate these much needed toys but to also come out on December 14th to share in the festivities of the night that are being planned in your honor.
The second goal, that cannot be measured in units or percentages, of what Choka Lyme has organized in the past or will organize in the future, may be summed up in one word- kinship. Mother Teresa said, “We are called upon not to be successful, but to be faithful.” We believe that if we make enough phone calls, genuinely invite people to participate in the legacy of their community and activate relationships that need to exist in order to sustain a platform for this kind of work- that together we will transform the community that we share into a space of progressive social conditions.
As much as giving and serving the community is a group effort, we want to reinforce that it’s also a personal act of faith for each of us. If we understand that the God we believe in to be the wellspring of love and compassion, then we should mirror that kind of God in how we speak and behave with one another. It’s wonderful that we can help those in need. However, the natural inclination is to also offer judgment as we offer this service. It doesn’t mean that we’re terrible people – it simply means we’re human. We have to remind ourselves that as we do this great work for those who are marginalized, we ought to look for the genuine kinship that can be formed at the same time. Cultivating this affinity for the other person we are helping is the true measure of our compassion. Sometimes that means doing things that frighten us like helping those who are despised or demonized by our society. If we allow ourselves to go to the places where people feel like they’ve been thrown out and show them that we care about what happens to them- that is the moment that judgment falls away and reverence takes its’ place. It’s not about saving someone from their destitution. It’s about encountering salvation for ourselves, as we offer this service.
Close your eyes and imagine a community where everyone is clothed, everyone is fed, everyone has a home and everyone is properly educated. Imagine a community where no one is left out. Now open your eyes and let us take it upon ourselves to continue to build toward that community together, as a family.
Choka Lyme: Simple People, Doing Simple Things, In A Big Way!