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Amazing Stories

Special clothing donation to the homeless around a hospital in Portland Oregon.

In early December 2015, one of our volunteers at Clothing the Homeless heard from a relative in Oregon about a Hospital who served the homeless in the Portland area, but they were running out of warm clothes to give to the homeless. It turns out that when a homeless person is admitted for medical treatment, their clothes are taken and exchanged for clean dry clothes, but last December they were running out of clothes. The CTH volunteers took it upon themselves to start a drive among family and friends to collect clothes for the hospital. Sue Sonnenberg heard about the need and donated jackets and other warm clothes to the homeless in Oregon. The problem next was how to get the clothes to Portland Oregon. Thanks to an anonymous donor, who paid for the shipping, the clothes were shipped to the hospital to the delight of the staff there. The staff at the hospital had never received such a large donation of clothes for their patients and were very grateful to all the donors and volunteers who made it happen. They took the following pictures and sent the thank you card to show their gratitude. Thanks to the volunteers and donors, the homeless in the coldest parts of Portland were warm this winter.

Donations shipped                  Donations arrived

.Clothes ready to shipDelivery

Donations unpacked for storage

Unboxed and ready to store

Ecstatic and thankful hospital staff

Nurses 2

Thank you card from the hospital staff.



Amazing young woman finds a way to clothe the homeless and give them a job too.

Veronika Scott took on a class project to find a way to help people in need, she developed a special jacket for the homeless. She took that Idea to the next level and turned it into a way to give jobs to those same homeless people.
Check out this link.


Clothing the Homeless 10 year Anniversary

March is the 10 year anniversary of Clothing the Homeless serving the homeless of Orange County in the name of Jesus Christ. A celebration was held on Sunday the 23rd at Journey Christian Church in which some of the many people who serve in this ministry described how God was working in the people being serves as well as the servers. The video was played to show what it is like at a distribution. Go to our Facebook page to watch the video. Thank God for Sue Sonnenberg, without whom this ministry would have never been started and served literally thousands of homeless men and women. Thank you for your dedication Sue!



Check out a new article we linked to on why people become homeless

Why average People Like You and me Become Homeless

Check out this article on why average people like you and me fall into a vicious cycle that ends in being homeless.

I believe that most people have many of these factors in their life now, but none of them has started the spiral, yet.

Click here to read the article.


Young man struggling with addiction gives his life to Jesus at the Mental Health Distribution.

It was another beautiful day as our team of volunteers set out to dispense clothing, hope, and the love of Jesus to the homeless people at Santa Ana’s MHA Drop-in Center.  One of my favorite parts of these outings is witnessing volunteers make contact with the people being served.  The most basic human kindness–eye contact, a smile, a genuine interest in their wellbeing–it makes a visible impact upon these who are so often invisible to our community. That’s what was happening in the September distribution–the love was flowing and hearts were being warmed.

 I was at the end of the distribution line, ready to pray for any who indicated a desire for prayer.  When Bill approached me, I sensed the spirit of a man beaten down and at the edge of despair.  He seemed to be in good health, about 42 years old, but his eyes were filled with sadness.  He said, “Please pray for me to be able to kick this drug habit.  I do OK for a while, get a job, start making progress in staying clean–but then something happens to throw me off my game and I start using again.  I’m tired.  I want out of this cycle.”
I shared with him my own drug history, and how Jesus had delivered me. Bill said he went to church a few times as a kid.  When I asked if he knew Jesus–if he had ever surrendered his life to Christ, he said “no, not yet.”  I asked what was keeping him from making that decision.  “I’ve got to get my life straightened up first,” he said.  Of course, I then shared how the whole point of Jesus dying for us is that we can’t get our act together!  That’s why we need a Savior.  And when we surrender our lives to him, what we are saying is, “I can’t get my act together, please save me.”

He said, “Well, I for sure could do that!”  and he did.  Right there at the end of the clothing distribution line, Bill’s eternity took a turn toward Jesus. He walked away, not only with clothing to put on his back, but clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ–a new creation!  Thank you, Clothing the Homeless, for giving us the opportunity to bless others as we have been blessed.

Steve Phillips
Lead Pastor


Family turns canceled wedding into dinner for homeless.

Check out this story of how a family turned a loss into an amazing day for over 200 homeless people.

Homeless party

Click here to go to the webpage.


Billy Ray Harris’s Good Deed.

Although this story is not from a distribution, it is still a great story how a homeless man turned his life around after a kind deed. Click on the link to see more.

Billy Ray Harris


Sue’s encounter at the August 17th distribution at Santa Ana Civic Center

I had a really joyous experience on Sat. after the Clothing the Homeless Distribution. It was late and hot and we were all tired from serving over 100 people.  Matt Rausch and Larry Howell and myself were in the van taking off. I kept seeing this one man all by himself sitting on a curb with things on his lap. I noticed he had gone through the line but I did not speak with him. God was urging me to go up to the man and talk with him. At first I ignored it. Then I told Matt would he mind going back closer to where the man was sitting. I had no idea what God wanted me to do. I walked up and mentioned he had a lot of paper binders with a lot of Spanish writing. I commented on how neat and tidy he kept his writings. I asked him in my very limited Spanish, “Would you like to have a Spanish Bible?” He immediately responded with see, see.” Poor Matt had to practically take everything out of the van to find our literature box. Well as God’s plans are perfect we had one left. I took it over and encouraged him to read it. On the way out of the parking lot we all kept looking back and noticed he opened it and continued reading it. I knew in my heart the message from the Lord was to get the Word of God into his hands.


Mike and the Suitcase

We have come to know a homeless man named Mike who shows up at almost every distribution we have at the Civic Center. Anyone who has served for any length of time has met Mike. He is a kind, older gentleman who likes to talk and get to know you and does not accept any clothes unless he absolutely needs it.

At the July distribution Mike arrived a little late. When it was his turn, he asked for a backpack and turned around to show his backpack which was ripped and falling apart. I looked in the bag that contains backpack and by then we ran out. Mike did not seem disappointed because he is always grateful for everything he receives. I told him to try to arrive early in August and hopefully by then, we will have more backpacks. Well the August distribution arrived and so did Mike, only this time he had a different backpack that was not new, but in good condition. This time Mike asked for a small suitcase on wheels with a handle so he would not have to carry so many bags of his recyclables and possessions. Unfortunately we did not have any suitcases, so again Mike did not receive the item he desperately needed. I told him we will try to get him one for the September distribution so try to arrive early. He said thank you and turned and left with his many bundles. I told Sue what happened and she said she would try to find a suitcase for him, but it might take a while because we do not receive many of them as donations.. That night, when Sue arrived home, she found a blue suitcase with wheels and a handle (exactly as Mike requested), sitting at her front door. A neighbor, who knows about Sue’s involvement in the Clothing The Homeless ministry, dropped it off at her front door. This unexpected surprise was truly Gods answer to Mike’s request for a suitcase.



Experiences of the Concordia students that served at the June 15th Civic Center distribution.

The most valuable experience was seeing the men and women’s faces after we gave them clothing. They were so grateful it was almost heartbreaking because they appreciated everything done for them. It made me realize how lucky and blessed I am to have what I have. – AH

Every day I take for granted the fact that I can wash my hair and brush my teeth without ever thinking of how I’m going to access shampoo or toothpaste. It was very eye opening to be able to provide those things for someone that normally has to go without it. I was struck by how grateful a lot of these people were to be receiving clothing. Even if I told them that I was volunteering and not actually donating the clothing myself, I still kept hearing what a “blessing” we all were to be there. I spoke with one man that told me he had been in the marines and went to Iraq in the first desert storm mission. When he told me he was in the military we were looking for shorts for him. I pulled out the camouflage shorts and realized that they were his size. He was so thrilled to have them and kept saying that it was so fitting since he served. After he got his clothes and received prayer I asked him about his experience in the war. Before he left, I thanked him for serving and he grabbed my hand and gave me a hug. He sounded so thankful to hear those words from someone, since most people only see him as homeless and not as a veteran. This experience gave me a whole new outlook on the homeless population and I look forward to working with them again. – HB

At this event, I was really able to see the impact that the clothing had on the people that needed it. This was the first donation based volunteer event where I felt that the people were truly grateful for what they had been given. I did not interact with a single person that acted ungrateful, or that did not thank and bless us. I was initially nervous for this event because I have never worked with the homeless and I’m really glad that I had this experience because it showed me how rewarding it can be. – HB

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Sue in keeping this project open and running for the past nine years. It’s a testament to her passion to help those in need. – AC

The most valuable experience for me was being able to pray with the individuals. I have never prayed over someone before. To be able to see the appreciation of the people and how much closer it brought me to the person, it was priceless. At first I was not sure what I would say, because I am normally praying for my family and friends and not for a stranger who I am not sure about what he needs. But while I was praying it just came to me and it was amazing. – ML


Connecting with someone who just needed a little help.

While volunteering to feed the homeless a meal in Santa Ana recently, the Lord moved me to help a man. I was serving punch when he came through the line. I noticed he was limping. When he came back for seconds, I asked him if he was OK. Tears started to fall, & he said he had been hit by a car. I said, oh my goodness, & offered to pray for him, he said thanks. The next 20 minutes or so were very busy, finishing up & cleaning up, and I was not thinking about him at all, when I got in my car to leave. Then I saw him sitting on the curb. I felt the “nudge” from God, so I stopped my car, went over to him & asked how I could help him. He began to cry. I was so moved ( Holy Spirit ~ NO doubt) by this man. I offered my phone, but he had no one to call. Forgoing my plans to go visit a friend, I sat down next to him & we tried to get him a place to spend the night. He had come to California with a carnival, that got shut down. He stayed in a motel till his money ran out. He had been on the streets for 3 nights. All he had had been stolen. I asked him if he drank. He said no. I asked him if he did drugs. He said no, he was Muslim. I reacted as I hope & believe Jesus would have. I loved him. I drove him to the Salvation Army shelter, about 4 miles away. I prayed for him, in Jesus’ Name, and  Praise God, when 3:30 rolled around, he was able to get a bed. Two days later the Lord led me to offer to buy him a bus ticket home. When I offered this to him on the phone, he was overcome with gratitude. The next day I picked him up from the shelter, drove him to Greyhound & bought his one way ticket to Ft. Worth. I gave him plenty of reading material… Biblical articles comparing Christianity to Islam. A New Testament, some little Christian booklets. I was able to tell him, in all sincerity, that God loves him, is pursuing him, & has a plan for his life. And sent him on his way with a prayer, a couple of hugs, and tears from both of us. I cannot put into words the blessing this whole experience was for me. I am just eternally grateful that God gave me this opportunity to be Jesus’ Hands & Feet. For one person. One person that I pray for daily & can’t wait to see again some day & hear all the marvelous works that God will do through his life.

Thank you Cindy for your  Story