By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
ECORSE – New coats, boots, toys and a pizza dinner were among the winter outreach activities that made the holidays brighter for Downriver families Dec. 17 at Ecorse Community Bible Church.
The Rev. John S. Brown of ECBC said the winter outreach, now in its seventh year, draws attendees from many Downriver communities.
The gathering provides warm winter clothing, toys, candy and cookies, as well as a meal to those in need, with the help of Frontline Missions and missionary Tom Faunce, 73, of Lachine, and his brother, Curt Faunce, 67, of Monroe.
Tom Faunce, who grew up poor, said he always remembered the people who reached out with kindness when he was a child.
“I travel around the world, and everywhere we go, we bring toys,” he said. “We bring everything else they need, but I always think of those kids.”
Curt Faunce said it is their mission to help others.
Tom Faunce said that while they help provide water wells to people in need overseas, they always reach out to the children who, though poor, respond to the love provided by strangers.
Donna Cowen of Melvindale, a volunteer at the church, said the community outreach is a blessing for the volunteers and the recipients, and she is happy that they are able to give the children coats, boots and toys.
She said it is a lot of work and a long process, but it is worthwhile.
Cowen said she does the bookwork, organization and task assignment.
“If it wasn’t for the volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do it,” she said. “It is a God-given command for us to help those that are in need, and what we are doing is helping the needy.”
Cowen said it is amazing to watch a child’s face light up when they receive a special gift just for them.
“It’s awesome to watch their smiles and their grins when they get new toys,” she said. “It’s amazing. It really is.”