Guiding LIght yellow 95th anniversary logo

Honoring God’s Gifts

As we approach Thanksgiving, I’d like to share a timely message we received recently at Guiding Light:

The note begins: The hardest thing my wife and I have ever done in our lives was dropping off our 34-year-old son, Brandon, at your organization in November 2018.

It’s easy to imagine the anguish of those parents. They had to entrust their son to us, even if it was the hardest decision of their lives.

It also turned out to be the best thing we have ever done! Brandon is going on 5 years clean and sober since that moment. We went from planning his funeral to celebrating his sobriety! Thank you and God Bless!

These parents honored God’s gift to them, their son, and were rewarded with his restoration to new life.

This is a great example of a value we teach at Guiding Light. To honor God’s gifts means to embrace the life we have been given. To take every opportunity to grow, live and serve. When we do this at all times — in moments of joy or pain — we remain full of hope and gratitude.

We are grateful to these parents and their son, and to all the sons and daughters who turn to us for help. Our service to them is a privilege — another gift from God — that we are proud to honor.

How We Do It

Thanksgiving is a powerful reminder of what gratitude makes possible, and I want to include everyone who joins this work by supporting us.

We all have been given great gifts by God. And at Guiding Light, we believe these gifts must be honored. In this way, we learn to live with open hands and open hearts through service, stewardship and gratitude.

Thanksgiving is a great time these beliefs into action. Here is how we do it:

Service: We are already preparing to open our doors and welcome our hungry neighbors to our community Thanksgiving dinner. The clients in our recovery program will prepare and serve the meal to our hungry neighbors. They will clean up afterward. And they will experience the selfless joy of serving others.

Stewardship: We honor the gifts of our donors with careful use of the resources they entrust to us. Everything is donated, from food to furnishings. We don’t hire outside workers to prepare our meals. Clients prep, cook, and serve — and they wash the dishes and utensils because we don’t waste money on disposable products.

Gratitude: Our Thanksgiving meal is a joyful time of community, connection and service for those our program, as they help feed the hungry and hurting in our neighborhood. Clients are inspired by the gratitude they see as someone is welcomed with a hot meal. They are reminded of the difficult life they have left behind and the opportunity ahead of them.

HowYou Do It

All our services — education, spiritual guidance, room and board — are provided free of charge to our clients. That does not mean they are free. Guiding Light is 100% donor-funded.

We count on your support to help the men and women in our care come to understand that we have been given one life and, with it, the opportunity to work, grow, live, and serve.

From all of us at Guiding Light, I want to thank all of you who make the important work we do possible.


– Brian Elve, Executive Director of Guiding Light


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