St. Nick Project
The motto of the St. Nick Project is, "To Those Whom God Loves, From Those Who Love God." The heart behind the St. Nick Project is to show those who are recognized by society as a problem, the houseless and destitute population in Hawaii, that there are people who care about them deeply as God’s children who have been beautifully and wonderfully made.
How can you help?
Donations! We are looking for donations of items as well as monetary donations. Please see the list below for items to donate and feel free to drop them off in the Ohana Ministries Box. If writing a check, please make it payable to FPC with the memo: St. Nick Project.
Reusable Bags (cloth/material grocery bags—not plain plastic bags)
Wet wipes (travel packs)
Travel packs of sunscreen
Apple sauce, pudding cups, or fruit cups
Chewy Granola bars
Chips (single serve bags)
Individually bagged candies
Trucks! We are in need of trucks! If you have a truck and are willing to drive with us from about 8pm-midnight on Saturday, December 12, we would greatly appreciate it. Please send us an email at email@example.com if you can help!
Logistics for 2019
The schedule for the Project is as follows:
December 15, 9:30am - 12:00pm - card writing and toiletry bag packing (FPC, Youth Only)
December 20, 5pm - 9pm - prayer and worship, sandwich making, towel prep, and sock prep (FPC)
December 21, 4pm - (approximately) midnight - final package prep, prayer time, and delivery (Drop-off at FPC, Pick-up at Vineyard Zippy’s)
On delivery night, the students will be broken up into groups of 8-10 and will have 3-4 adults per group. Each package delivery will be in a group and we will not have youth going anywhere alone.
Families and friends are welcome.
The Saint Nick Project was the brainchild of Matt Yamamoto and Ming Chi. The inspiration for this exercise in love came from a mission trip that the two were leaders on to build a home for a needy family in Mexico. As Matt was raising money to go on the trip, his friends, family, and supporters also generously gave him extra spending money, more than five hundred dollars. On their way into Mexico, the bus made one last stop at a Walmart before crossing the border. As Matt watched the other volunteers run around, buying stuff for themselves, he felt uncomfortable with going into such an impoverished area to a family without a home while being blessed with so much generosity himself. It was in this moment that God prompted him that this was his opportunity to show these people in need how much God cares for them.
It didn’t take long to fill three shopping carts full of things the family would need: toiletries, towels, blankets, cookware, food, whatever would be useful. It was such a blessing for The two youth leaders and the rest of the team of leaders and youth to be able to serve that family by building them a home, but it was an extra blessing to be able to go above and beyond by filling with things that they would need as well.
The Saint Nick Project was born out of this simple act of obedience. As the two came home, the two discussed how they didn’t need to leave Hawaii and go to a foreign country to do good for those in need, and that very Christmas, the Saint Nick Project was carried out for the first time. Ming was the author of most of principles behind the exercise in love and envisioned what it would look like. That first year, the two along with a few friends gathered what little cash each had in their wallets and pooled the money together to assemble ten care packages full of things to bless their recipients.
What started with ten has increased every year, from ten to fifty, from fifty to a hundred. The St. Nick Project is in its 11th year and we are shooting to have 352 care packages this year.
What happens at st. nick?
The Saint Nick Project has always started with a prayer and worship night. We want to take an opportunity to thank God for everything that he does in providing for all of his children, for those who are preparing the packages and for those who will be receiving them. It is an opportunity to align our hearts and desires with God’s, to see people the way He does.
It’s at this point that uplifted hands are now placed on the plow. Aside from the efforts put into fundraising and gathering the supplies, the real energy is put into assembling the packages the week of Christmas. Food needs to be packaged, peanut butter jelly sandwiches are made, bows are tied around smaller packages that go into the bags, personalized cards are written to the homeless. An over abundance of care and effort is put into the presentation of everything that goes into the packages as an expression of love.
Writing the cards is one of the most important steps in the whole process. It is the only way to tangibly communicate the love and care that the volunteers have for the recipients, and a lot of time and love is put into them, including scriptures, encouraging words, and decorations. After placing all the elements together in the final package, the last thing to do is to attach the letters to each bag while praying for the recipient as the card is tied to the handles of the bag.
In years past, after all the Christmas parties are done, the volunteers would gather for delivery on Christmas eve to distribute the packages. The idea isn’t to wake up the recipients or make a big deal of what we are doing, but like St. Nick himself, leave behind the packages of love for them to find on Christmas morning. If they are up and ask for it, volunteers can pray for them or encourage them in groups, but the idea is to respect their privacy otherwise.