Focused on “loving others where they are” since 2014, City Lights Ministry in Winston-Salem is a non-profit, evangelical Christian Ministry committed to sharing the Gospel by meeting the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of children who regularly face poverty and food insecurity.
From their mobile trucks delivering food, clothes, toys and beds, to Sidewalk Bible School and after-school tutoring, all are welcome, as the ministry works to see local children in potentially hopeless situations find a new path. That includes showering them with a full circle of support so they can strive to be healthy, successful adults.
“As a child who went without the basic needs of life and had a single mom who struggled to raise my brother and me, it’s my passion to help children who are raised with the same situations,” says Melanie Bell, Founder and Executive Director. “I am very thankful to be part of what God is doing through City Lights and in our communities.”
Since its inception, City Lights Ministry has delivered more than 3,000 free beds to children without a bed – and who are often sleeping on the floor. Typically, they deliver 10 to 20 beds each week.
The mobile food pantry distributes around 25,000 pounds of food each month and naturally depends heavily on volunteers. Visit their website at citylightsministry.org to find all the areas where you can get involved, from building beds or packing groceries, to assisting in the clothing closet. Local school, church or youth groups are also encouraged to volunteer – by calling or emailing to schedule a time slot.
“We need those who can help us with food drives to continue making sure children in our city eat,” adds Melanie.
While City Lights fills needs year-round, the ministry also provides 3,000 children with Christmas gifts each season – and that takes love and loyalty from as many people as possible! Individuals or groups can sponsor a child this Christmas by signing up on the website or by choosing to host a toy drive at their business or church.
“We deliver Christmas gifts into many neighborhoods around Forsyth County, helping approximately 3,000 kids have a wonderful Christmas morning,” shares Melanie.
And, City Lights Ministry is incredibly excited to launch a new ministry in 2024!
“This ministry is called The Grace House and will be located at the City Lights Community Center,” Melanie explains. “The Grace House will be just that – a home full of God’s grace for moms who have found themselves with nowhere to turn. No matter the reason, we will welcome them with grace. This home will house mothers and their children temporarily as they find a way to get back on their feet.”
She says the team looks forward to being a source of support through Bible studies, parenting classes, cooking classes, budgeting classes and many other ways they can encircle families with love and guidance.
“Together, we can make a difference in the lives of mothers and children, right here in our own city,” says Melanie.
The group believes by meeting our neighbors where they are and personally investing in their lives, foundations can be built that will lead to hope, a future and a better life for children in our community.
To offer monthly financial support for The Grace House, click “Give” on the website, to launch the new ministry off on the right track in 2024. All donations to City Lights Ministry must be shipped or delivered to their warehouse at 1600 Williamson Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27107. If you need help with furniture you’d like to donate, call 336.831.1003. Regularly needed items include pillows, twin sheets, canned foods, non-perishable food items, furniture and children’s coats. For more information, visit Citylightsministry.org.