City Lights Outreach

Our City Lights poverty initiative exists to provide help, support, and resources to those people who need a hand up during these tough economic times. Check out some of the ways City Lights is making a difference in our communities

Book Bag and School Supplies

Back to school time can be costly, and many children start the school year without their needed supplies. City Lights utilized various approaches over the years to help with this issue, including a giant back-to-school giveaway, supplying over 2,000 book bags to the Akron area. Over time, we have developed a more cost-effective program to serve those in our target area in the best manner possible.

The current program specifically targets the local school districts in our multiple campus communities and families attending a Cornerstone Church campus. Sponsorship opportunities are made available, with the ability to sponsor a child for various dollar amounts. Once donations are completed, the funds are used to buy bookbags and school supplies that are then donated to the local school system for distribution. Gift cards are also distributed to individual families if needed. Gift cards are made available to families by the end of July, so that those in need are able to take advantage of the tax free school shopping days in our area.

Volunteers for this outreach are always welcome for set up, identifying those in need of assistance, and distributing information about the outreach and the schools that it serves.

Bread Giveaway

The Bread Giveaway outreach was established in January 2014 when the local Food Bank had an abundance of bread that they needed to dispatch. This was ideal for City Lights since the recipients of the bread do not need to fill out any eligibility forms and it can be distributed at the church on a weekly basis. We look at the Bread Giveaway as a means to both supply a food staple to those in need as well as an opportunity to connect with individuals who may be searching for the Father and a church family.

The bread is picked up from the Food Bank every Wednesday morning then displayed at Cornerstone Church PLX. The giveaway is open to the community every Wednesday night from 5 PM to 6:30 PM. Each individual/family is permitted to take a set amount of bread ranging from two (2) to four (4) loaves. Other items such as pastries and snack varieties may also be available at that time.

The Bread Giveaway does not require multiple volunteers, but there are often volunteer positions available. These include Giveaway facilitators, bread pick-up and delivery, and a representative who is knowledgeable about both Cornerstone Church and other City Lights outreaches. Church representatives would be responsible for making personal connections with those we serve and to inform them of upcoming City Lights and church events.

Car Donation

There are many people who need a reliable car, and many who are looking to unload of a car. City Lights accepts vehicle donations to help meet the needs of others.

We accomplish meeting needs through this outreach in three crucial ways:

  1. Our first priority is to give a working car to someone in need. We have given many cars to families in desperate need of a functioning vehicle.
  2. We also utilize car donations by selling a car outright to help fund City Lights programs.
  3. If a car is not operational, we will sell the vehicle to a salvage yard for money that can be used to further support City Lights work.

Vehicle donations are always appreciated, and City Lights solicits cars through word of mouth and a twice a month social media posting.

Church Facility Care

City Lights believes it is as important to help with the many facility care projects of the church as it is to help with community outreaches. It is important to show support for both those in the community and in our own church and operating base. For this reason, City Lights volunteers often help with various upkeep projects in both the interior and exterior of the church campuses. This includes lawn maintenance, gardening, painting, cleaning, and other various projects.

City Lights is always looking for volunteers to help with projects and upkeep around the church campuses. Projects can often be worked around volunteer schedules. Individuals with time, passion, or a specialized skill are always welcome to become a part of the facility care team.

Clothing Giveaway

The need for good, clean clothing is constant - especially for children who are always growing and needing additional clothing for school and other activities.

City Lights has a steady supply of donated clothing to help meet both adult and child needs. Donated clothing is provided free of cost to meet immediate requirements of families both within the church and to other families in need.

Clothing is sorted according to size and gender, and then a social media posting informs both church members and other friends/followers about available clothing. Clothing is then arranged to be picked up at the church, or a location agreed upon by the outreach leader and the recipient.

Donations are always appreciated! Donated clothing is used for the clothing giveaway, the annual City Lights coat giveaway, and for Jesus Said Ministries.

Coat Giveaway

When the fall and winter months begin, the dropping temperatures leave those in the community reaching for their winter coats to brave the cold weather. Unfortunately, many struggling families lack the funds needed to provide both adults and children with adequate winter wear. City Lights works hard collecting winter coats to give to those in need, with a special focus on children. Coats are gathered throughout the year, with a main push in spring when most people discard their old coats. City Lights also connects to receive coats from various agencies in our local campus communities. City Lights accepts all donations of clean coats that are in good condition. New coat donations are also appreciated.

City Lights holds an Annual Coat Giveaway in early fall, before the cold weather arrives. The local school systems are contacted and announcements are made to their school age children/families. Volunteers also hold signs advertising the coat giveaway on various locations around the community. City Lights has found these methods to be very effective at reaching families in need.

Volunteers are always appreciated to donate, sort, and distribute coats as well as to help promote the giveaway.