Empty Tomb still needs hundreds of volunteers

CHAMPAIGN — Empty Tomb, the Christian service organization, says it still needs nearly 1,000 church people to sign up to build clothes cupboards for needy children.

The deadline to sign up is Feb. 19, says Shannon Cook, Empty Tomb coordinator.

The organization hopes to build 400 cupboards in one morning on March 2 and has called for 1,300 volunteers through area Christian churches.

Empty Tomb doesn't accept volunteers who don't attend or belong to a Christian church.

Cook said about 320 church people representing 71 churches have registered to help, and requests are in for 294 of the cupboards.

Families in need of the cupboards can come in person to Empty Tomb at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. or 3 p.m., and it's best to show up five minutes before the hour, Cook said. Bring verification that the child to receive the cupboard belongs to an income-eligible family and belongs to you, she said.

The cupboards are 51 inches tall, about 31 inches wide and 16 inches deep.

Because of the amount of planning needed to coordinate the event, walk-in help can't be accepted, Cook said. People planning to volunteer to build cupboards must register in advance.

Volunteers are asked to contact their churches and also obtain money donations to support their labor for the day. Money raised will help support Empty Tomb's financial stability, Cook said.

Registration can also be done online at http://www.emptytomb.org, she said.

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (1):Social Services
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jmh910 wrote on February 15, 2013 at 10:02 am

I consider myself a Christian, and this embarasses me.  Empty Tomb doesn't accept volunteers who aren't Christian, and don't go to church.  What a great attitude.  No wonder they can't get volunteers.


If people want to help, let them help. It's called fellowship. It's called building strong relations with the community and with other religious groups.  Sometimes, getting involved in these type of events inspires people to join a religion, or start going to church.  Even if it that doesn't happen, it's still a positive experience for all involved.


I feel sorry for the kids who won't get a cabinet because there weren't enough volunteers to build them.  The people at Empty Tomb should really take a look inside themselves and ask WWJD.

rsp wrote on February 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

They are trying to get church members to be more involved, not to get more people to go to church. They have every right to do that. empty tomb, small e, small t. Do you feel for the kids who are sleeping on the floor because they don't have beds? I guess you have never been there to know what their "attitude" is.

lecturer wrote on February 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Sure, empty tomb has a right to structure the project however they like and to limit the assistance they accept.  Still, if they are going to reject voluinteers without a Christian church affiliation, it seems rather odd to make not one, but TWO appeals for volunteers through the pages of a secular newspaper.  If it matters so much, why not contact local churches directly or rely on local Christian networks?  Soliciting volunteers whom they don't actually want through the non-sectarian News-Gazette amounts to advertising the "no Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, atheists, agnostics, Unitarians, etc. need apply" policy. 

 

HorsePunchKid wrote on February 16, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Thank you for clarifying. This is not about helping children. It's about promoting the church. I was just confused, because this was published as a news article in a newspaper, not as an advertisement. I guess the kids who don't get the furniture they need will be consoled by the fact that the many non-churchgoing people who were willing to help would have ruined the event.

QWERTY wrote on February 15, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I agree!  It doesn't make sense to say "Yes we want you to care about hunger in our community... but only if you're Christian."  I would much rather live in a united society, where  your religion doesn't determine whether or not you're allowed to join a movement to help the less fortunate.  And what an oddly elitist stance... I can't imagine a needy person about to receive food asking, "Oh wait, are you Christian? ... Oh, you're not?  Nevermind, go do something else with your time."  *sigh*

wayward wrote on February 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Empty Tomb doesn't accept volunteers who don't attend or belong to a Christian church.

Yeah, that should definitely help them get hundreds of volunteers.

Sandy wrote on February 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm

I am a church member, but I still find their attitude incredibly offensive. Either your goal is to help kids and you want people to assist you, or you want to expand your religious ministry by using the kids as bait to get people you approve of to show up and identify themselves. If your goal is to help kids, why in the world would you care about the religion of the helpers, as they've demonstrated good intentions simply by showing up and volunteering their time?

Empty Tomb has a right to do whatever they wish, and I have a right to ignore all future appeals.

illini_trucker wrote on February 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm

"Empty Tomb doesn't accept volunteers who don't attend or belong to a Christian church."

WOW, really??? I thought the Boy Scouts was teaching everyone else this discriminatory lesson already! I agree with everyone else that this requirement is strongly offensive. I would be very surprised if they didn't start LOSING volunteers with this comment! If you want volunteers, you take what you can get!!  You are correct that ET has the right to do whatever you want. But I have a right too! I would like to start up a donation for my cigarette habit! I need $1,500 in 4 weeks to buy a case (30 cartons) of smokes. The catch? I don't want one red cent from a cigarette smoker! Lol at ya ET!

lecturer wrote on February 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Empty Tomb doesn't accept volunteers who don't attend or belong to a Christian church.

You know who didn't attend or belong to a Christian church?  Jesus.  Just sayin'.

Way to witness, Empty Tomb.

volts10 wrote on February 15, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Have to agree with all comments here There are a lot of christians who don't actually belong to a certain church, and there are non christians who would help. No wonder they can't get enough help. Not a very christian attitude they are projecting.