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South Hill, VA Community Lighthouse Prospering through COVID

When Rachel Brown, President of South Hill, VA Community Lighthouse (SHACL) sent in a copy of the Lighthouse Ministry Minutes Update, we were amazed to see the impact South Hill is making in their community. We wanted to share their good news with you.

Rachel said, “Thank you for allowing me to share our Facebook journey as God established the South Hill Aglow Community Lighthouse as a vibrant and relevant ministry after many years of steady decline. Here’s a timeline of our progression:

March, 2020: I was appointed as the new South Hill Aglow Community Lighthouse President along with Alfredia Lee, as the VP of Financial Development. The Facebook page was constructed with the help of Tina Peck, our Area President.

April, 2020: COVID quarantine was in full effect! We live streamed via the SHACL Facebook page giving the vision for our local Lighthouse. 477 views

May, 2020: Follow up message promoting the SHACL and the vision as we move forward. 214 views

June, 2020: VP Alfredia followed up with a Word confirming the vision. While a few people met in her church, we streamed via the SHACL Facebook page. 400 views

July, 2020: The SHACL Facebook page began connecting with other Facebook organizations like the South Hill Community page, which gave us more platforms to share upcoming events. We partnered with a food distribution group out of North Carolina that Alfredia connected with. 

Because we needed a central place to work from, Alfredia and her husband allowed us to work from their Church to sort and box the food items. I sent out a plea for volunteers on Facebook and it shared on the Community FB page, too. We had new people come to help!

We came together, masked up, sorted and distributed 50 boxes of food the next day. So many people came out to receive the food, all the boxes were gone before out time was up! 

The Police department came out and I was able to do a FB blast as I spoke with the Chief. Later after our debriefing about the food give away, I was able to give another report live on FB and thank all the volunteers that helped. 341 views

In order to publicize, EVENTS began to be set up for each month giving descriptions and discussion posts. This made disseminating invitations and information very easy.

August, 2020: We learned the art of Zoom streaming to the SHACL Facebook stream! Our guest was interviewed and shared the feed on her social media platforms, which gave us our largest audience to date. 1600 views

September, 2020: Our speaker gave a stirring message on Zoom which we streamed to our SHACL Facebook page. Again, our guest shared the feed to her social media platforms. 876 views

Groups were established under the SHACL Facebook “umbrella” to encourage engagement with the Page. Two groups are presently active: The Power of a Woman’s Words Book Study Group and Life Changers Book Study Group

October, 2020: Again Zoom participants were streamed on our Facebook page when we hosted our first Community Prayer Focus. Area ministry leaders were asked to speak and pray as we streamed live. 651 views

November, 2020: Life Changers was our thrust as three facilitators met on Zoom and had a candid conversation about the impact this Bible study made on our lives. 243 views

December, 2020: We did not have Facebook live engagement because we published promotional posts to prompt interest in our community Angel Tree and Adult home donations. 

Before Christmas we were given a generous unexpected gift. I reached out to two elementary schools to see if they were sponsoring children for Christmas. One school gave us the names of a brother and sister with the sizes of clothes needed. We spent a large portion of our funds purchasing clothes for the siblings with a few extra gifts included. With the remainder of the funds, we were able to purchase and make gift bags filled with lotion, deodorant, body wash, socks and sanitizer for the 16 residents of a local adult home. We took a photo and posted it in the local newspaper with hopes that others would contact the home and help with various needs.

Moving forward….

January, 2021: Facebook was utilized to promote awareness of the regional Human Trafficking Aglow Zoom.

February, 2021: While our meeting was not going to stream live on Facebook, we used the event feature to invite women to our closed Zoom meeting on the topic of emotional/mental health. Because this is a public page, we had participants from New York, Canada, West Virginia, as well as more local residents in Virginia and North Carolina.

March, 2021: Our invited guest lives in Canada, but our Zoom integration with Facebook will work seamlessly. Our guest has already allowed the SHACL to post on her Facebook page.

Rachel closed with her personal experiences from the year of lockdown. “I learned that more engagement is guaranteed when social media platforms are shared. While internet ‘hiccups’ might happen, God’s Presence and Word will still go forward with power! Taking an offering is still possible when we shared different ways people could give to support what we were doing. We learned that even though we had never used social media before to promote our Aglow meetings and outreaches, God brought us what we needed when we needed it.”