Today we are excited to recognize the Winter Warm Up Ministry founder, Lisa Doelman as the recipient of the 2023 Addink Community Service Award!
In October 2017, a remarkable initiative known as “Winter Warm Up ” embarked on a mission to provide warmth and hope to individuals and families in need. What began as a humble effort has grown into a thriving ministry that distributes thousands of coats and winter gear annually. The story behind this inspiring endeavor is a testament to the power of faith, compassion, and community support.
The Winter Warm Up Ministry was born out of a call that its founder, Lisa Doelman, had carried in her heart for years. The seeds for this ministry were sown during a challenging time in her life when she, as a parent, struggled to provide winter coats for her own children. The memories of shame, embarrassment, and the reluctance to seek help left a lasting impact. Little did she know that these trying moments would one day become the foundation of a ministry that would impact countless lives and families.
I have literally seen Lisa give the coat or shoes she has on to someone who is in need. Many years back, Lisa saw the need in our community for winter jackets and boots. She then began to ask the community for donations and started the Winter Warm Up annual coat drive. She collects and stores winter gear throughout the year and distributes them not only at the coat drive but also to local schools, Promise Community Health Center, and people in need.– Addink Award Nominator
Lisa noticed people braving the cold without adequate winter attire in her community and felt called to do something about it. The Bible verse 1 Corinthians 16:14, “Let all that you do be done with love,” was chosen as the ministry’s guiding principle.
The ministry launched under the name “Winter Warm Up” and quickly gained momentum. Local churches began to collect winter gear, and donations poured in from various communities. These donations were the force behind the ministry, filling the basement with an overwhelming amount of coats and gear. Lisa’s family and a dedicated core group of volunteers played a significant role in sorting, repairing, and preparing the gear for distribution. A pivotal moment in the ministry’s history was its partnership with “Justice For All.” This partnership allowed Winter Warm Up to access a significant amount of winter gear, facilitating their ability to serve even more people in need. The ministry became the recipient of large donations from Justice For All, allowing them to meet the needs of their community.
Lisa is a prime candidate for this community award because of her caring heart. She saw a need in this community and immediately started gathering winter gear to help others in this community. She spends tireless hours collecting and organizing and is always willing to make the extra effort to make sure every person she comes into contact with has adequately warm attire for our cold winter months, even if it means she goes to the store and purchases the items herself.– Addink Award Nominator
The Winter Warm Up Ministry has touched countless lives over the years. It is more than just a coat distribution; it is a beacon of hope for those in need. The ministry exemplifies the transformative power of faith, community, and compassion. From its humble beginnings in 2017 to its ever-expanding reach today, it has proven that a small act of kindness can make a profound difference in the lives of those in need. As they continue to bring warmth and hope to their community, the Winter Warm Up Ministry is a testament to the positive change that can be achieved when people come together with a shared vision of making the world a better place.