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I Am Grateful For Being A Part Of A Sharing, Caring & Giving Church

Mortgage and Lending with George Souto NMLS #65149 NMLS #65149

Debe Maxwell, CRS is hosting the ActiveRain Challenge the month titled "November 2022 Thanksgiving Gratitude Challenge".  This will be an easy challenge for me, because I have MUCH to have gratitude for.  For this challenge we get to write one blog per week for this month.  My first blog was about my beautiful granddaughter, and my second blog was about those who have given me encouragement and support in my career, and the third blog was for the gratitude I have for the sacrifices my parents made for me and my brothers and sisters, to have an opportunity for a better life.  This four blog is for the gratitude I have for being a part of sharing, caring and giving Church.

I have attend the Meriden Church of Christ in Meriden, CT., since 1984, and in those 38+ years the Meriden Church of Christ has looked for ways to assist our members and community year round.  Sharing, caring, and giving to others, is something we should do year round, and that is what the Church I attend does.  For example we provide assistance to our members, and community throughout the whole year by stocking our food pantry, holding cloths drive, and serving food at the local homeless shelter to name a few.  But the two programs I want to focus on in this blog is one we do at this time of the year, and one we do year round.

The event which we have done for several years at this time of the year, is putting together Thanksgiving Baskets for needy families in our church and community.  The baskets you see in the picture to the right, with all of the fixings for a Thanksgiving Dinner are put together on the Monday before Thanksgiving.   The only things missing are the turkeys and pies which are picked up on Tuesday just before families come to pick up their baskets. 

The last three years, however, we have expanded the number of families we provide the Thanksgiving baskets to.  By combined our efforts with the Meriden New Opportunities Food Bank.  This year we handed out 311 baskets to needy families.

We provide the fixings, and they provide the turkeys.   We still put the baskets together on the Monday before Thanksgiving, and then the Meriden New Opportunities Food Bank shows up with the Turkeys on Tuesday morning. 

Members of our church along with several  Meriden New Opportunities Food Bank volunteers, hand out the turkeys to the families  receiving the turkeys throughout the day and into the evening on Tuesday.   This is something our Church plans to continue doing for many more years to come. 

The second is a program which our Church decided to participate in several years ago, it is a called "Fresh Start".   This is a program our Church does in conjunction with the United Way of Meriden/Wallingford.  The Fresh Start program does exactly what the name implies.  The program helps family who have lost their home to fire or other major catastrophe by helping them get a "fresh start" with furniture, and appliances. 

Throughout the year our members contribute funds as well as furniture, and appliances to fulfill the needs of the families in our community which the United Way identifies are in need of assistance.  Members of the community also contribute items to fulfill these need.  One major source of items has been local Realtors who have sellers who are selling their home, and no longer have a need for their furniture.  This program has grown to the point there are times we have to rent multiple storage units to be able to handle all the items being donated.  The funds we collect are used to purchase new mattresses, because old mattresses are not allowed to donate, they must be new.  In the time we have been doing this program we have helped out hundreds of families, and hope to continue to help many, many more.

The concludes my fourth and final entry into this months ActiveRain challenge.  Thank you Debe Maxwell, CRS for hosting this challenge.


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George Souto
NMLS# 65149

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I am a Mortgage Loan Officer who can assist you with all your mortgage & refinancing questions

I reside in Middlesex County which includes Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Cromwell, Portland, Haddam. E. Haddam, Higganum, Chester, Essex, Deep River.



Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Faith is an important part of life, at least it should be, George. Many good things can take place when the spirit moves people in the right direction. Wishing many wonderful blessings continue to come your way!

Nov 29, 2022 09:56 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello George - faith is definitely a part of the subject of thanksgiving.  When it is practiced with kindness, there can be multiple benefits.  

Nov 29, 2022 10:29 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

A Church that practices what it preaches about helping our brothers You picked a good one to attend, George

Nov 29, 2022 10:34 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi George... having a church that feels like "home" and the people there like "family" is a wonderful thing. I've heard many a story about churches that are very political and cliquey. You are very fortunate with yours.

Nov 29, 2022 10:47 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Belonging to a church that is a good fit for our beliefs is so important, George.  I'm glad you found your's.

Nov 29, 2022 01:18 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

George Souto I am not surprised that you have chosen to belong to a church or that this church and its members provide food, furniture, and assistance to those in need.   I am very grateful to have gotten to know you through blogging over the years

Happy Holidays to you and your Family 

Nov 29, 2022 02:17 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening George Souto ,

It's wonderful you have been an active member of your church since 1984! You are very fortunate to belong to a church that feels like "home" and the people there like "family." I'm thrilled you have found the perfect fit!

Nov 29, 2022 02:55 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

hi George- I admire your dedication to your church and community. The Thanksgiving baskets and the Fresh Start program are worthy ways to give back. 

Nov 29, 2022 07:27 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Oh, I love a good church that practices what is preached there, George. I am so happy for you for having found the perfect fit for you and your giving, caring heart. They are so lucky to have you.

Thank you for sharing more of you in this month's challenge! I've enjoyed reading each and every one of your posts.

Nov 29, 2022 09:51 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning George - you and your church are very active in your community.  We have begun giving out back packs for back to school at our church.

Nov 30, 2022 04:01 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

That sounds like such a wonderful church to be part of and being around caring people is what makes the world go around.  You are a good man!!!

Nov 30, 2022 05:50 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, George, for sharing some of your positive experience at your church. One of my sisters is a minister and talks about the challenges faced by the members.

Dec 02, 2022 06:32 AM