Help Covenant give hope through Give Big Kern!

I woke up really excited this morning.  While I’m always passionate about the work I do here at Covenant Community Services and Covenant Coffee, there’s something else that’s got me pumped.
Today, May 3rd, thousands of Kern County residents are going to show their support for their favorite nonprofit during GIVE BIG KERN. Today, every donation and donor we get will go further to help us claim our share thousands of dollars in prize money.
At Covenant we are restoring lives of former foster youth and transforming generations. Just this week, we have held classes for over 50 former foster youth and employed more than 20 in the coffee and social service business. Great things are happening and we need your help to do more. Check out these great pics of some of the things happening at Covenant and then read below for how you can get involved!
New Coffee House at 1101 E Lerdo Hwy, Shafter, CA where we give hope in a cup to former foster youth through employment and mentoring!
Training and Mentoring class at Covenant for former foster youth to give knowledge, encouragement, and hope!
Desirae receiving a training certificate in Barista Training!
Mauricio graduation day from Covenant CHOICES Program! Receiving a well-earned bonus to launch life!
These picture really get me excited! What else has me really excited is that GIVE BIG KERN is going to be a big event. Please help us by being a champion for Covenant !
 We need you to help us with these three things:
  1. Go to our page – Covenant Give Big Kern Page and give or pledge volunteer hours.
  2. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (link to your sites and #hashtag) and help build the buzz. Our social media links are below.
  3. Spread the word!  Forward this email to your family and friends along with a personal note as to why you believe in our work, and why they should give on May 3 – GIVE BIG KERN.
Help spread the excitement. Tell your friends and family why you think they should help Covenant with their donation. Please be our champion, and help us see it to the top! We can’t wait to celebrate the difference your generosity will make on May 3, 2016.
With Hope,
Randy Martin

An errand reminds of purpose and hope

This last week, Kim and I ran some errands and one took us to a local pet store. As we approached the storefront, I noticed a young man crouched near the entrance and he was begging for support. I shook it off yet noted his youth and despair. As we shopped, the thought of the young man kept tugging at my spirit. We concluded our business and left the store.

As we walked back to the car the young man shouted, “Have a nice night”. I took another look back at him and announced to Kim that I thought God wanted me to talk to the youth. I went over and began an exchange with him. His name is John. He is 17 and left his home and was homeless. His story is tragic yet similar to many we serve.0921a15 001

John ran away from home and shared that his mom was having sex with men and doing drugs. This is a common theme for young men in the “system”. They run from trouble and usually to get in more trouble. John had been on the streets and with friends for 4 days. He left on Christmas eve. I asked him what he needed and he said food. I instructed him to wait for me to return and that we would help.

I got back to the car and shared the story with Kim. We drove home and I grabbed a back pack and stuffed it with jackets, a beanie, a scarf, and gloves. We also packed a bag of food and drinks. When then went back and found John wandering in the parking lot. He saw our car and came over.

I gave John everything and asked about his plans. We made sure he had a place to be safe that night. I asked him if he wanted our help finding a home. He said he wanted nothing to do with foster care and was waiting to turn eighteen so he could start his own life. We prayed with him and let him know that God has a plan for him … a plan for good and not evil. He gave us a hug and we said our goodbyes. We watched him walk off into the night.

I share this story with you to recount how God used the encounter to remind Kim and I about the “why” behind what we do. God has a purpose for each of us. We feel we are living ours in serving foster youth, the downtrodden and outcasts. In front of a pet store, we gave from our heart and it felt good. We attempt to live this at Covenant in a culture of lack and inferior resources. Yet, God still moves. How many more “Johns” are out there that are in need?

The encounter with John reminded me of a message I shared long ago about a woman in the Bible that wanted to bless someone. A man told her, “What do you have in the house?”. You see, giving and serving isn’t about dreams and wishes. No, it is about action. When you see a need, simply respond with what you have. Nothing more is required.

Friend, I share this with you as it was a great reminder to our family to give from what we have and not the desire or wish for what we do not have. My challenge to you is this: Give. Find an organization, a person or a group and give your best as you end 2015 and begin 2016. There are many “Johns” out there in need of your help.

The Lord bless you richly in 2016!

If you would like to support our work at Covenant send your financial gift to 1700 North Chester, Bakersfield, CA 93308 and we will credit the donation to 2015 if you send it soon with the date of 12/31/2015. If you desire to give online, go to www.covenantcs.net and click “donate” on the bottom of the page. You can also come into Covenant Coffee and give your check to our staff. If you don’t give to Covenant, find someone or something to bless as you end 2015!
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Hope lives here
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

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Thanks again for making a difference!

For King and Kingdom,
Randy Martin and the Covenant Team

Nonprofit serving foster youth wins Green Award

Covenant Community Services, a Kern County nonprofit organization serving foster children and former foster youth,  was awarded the Kern Green Sustainable Purchasing Award at the Kern Green Awards Banquet held at Cal State Bakersfield.

kern green 2015

The award to Covenant Coffee was in the category of Sustainable Purchasing was for paying a fair price to coffee farmers, repurposing metal and wood for brew equipment and furnishings, and purchasing paper goods that are sustainably sourced. In all Covenant programs, the organization seeks to recycle, repurpose, and reuse whenever feasible. This award is a testament to the actions of a nonprofit that does good with youth and the environment.

Here is a quote from Kern Green’s founder and the event organizer, Sasha Windes. “The 2015 Kern Green Awards Banquet was a great success thanks to all of our sponsors and volunteers.  It was a beautiful evening at California State University, Bakersfield. Attendees of the event enjoyed a delicious dinner with produce donated by local farmers and prepared by Borda Petite. The event provided the perfect opportunity to celebrate the many organizations and individuals who work each day to improve the environment of Kern County.”fall-covenant-pics_22253583335_o

The award was received by Zachary Martin, Covenant Coffee’s Roastmaster, and Balinda Amavisca, a barista at Covenant Coffee. Covenant Coffee also provided coffee to attendees at the event.

About Covenant Coffee: Covenant Coffee is a social enterprise of Covenant Community Services, Inc. Covenant Coffee was established in 2010 to provide vocational training, employment, and mentoring to former foster youth. Covenant Coffee roasts responsibly sourced green coffee from around the world and roasts the coffee at their North Chester location in Bakersfield, California. Learn more at www.covenantcoffee.org

Hope Lives Here! Restoring Lives and Transforming Generations