Meeting Needs Each Day

“I am a single father of one.  I don’t have rent for November and my water and power are about to be shut off. Can you help me?  Please.”

“I have no furniture and no money for a deposit for our apartment.  We are a family of five and we moved from California and need help getting back on or feet.”

“Subject: Son needs God & help. Please pray for our son who is homeless due to choices & consequences.  Pray for him to come back to the God of his youth, want to find & keep a job, want to be a dad to his girls, and want to be an honest citizen. ”

“We are in desperate need of shelter, we have two girls – one is 8 the other is 1.  Our 8 year old goes to Olympic View School. My fiancé lost his job and our bills and rent fell way behind.  He now has a new job as of tomorrow morning but we still have nowhere to go as of Thursday morning.  Please, please help.  For the first time we are homeless.”

These are just a few examples of the calls City Gates receives on a daily basis.  Because of your heart to help people in need, we are able to reach some of the needs from the calls we receive. Your prayers and volunteer support truly help transform impoverished lives into abundant living. You go out to the street and minister to the lost every Thursday night.  You reach out to care for the needy, you help advocate and shelter the homeless.  You feed the hungry and cloth the unclothed.  But most importantly, you do all this while sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

You filled the house at our Fall Harvest Auction and helped raise $32,600.  What a great encouragement.  And the best part was to see everyone in one room fellowshipping, eating and having a good time!  Special thanks go out to the Boy Scout Troops and the Girl Scouts who worked so hard to make sure all the guests of the house were served.  You opened the doors from the beginning and were the last ones to leave at the end.  You showed yourselves to be true companions.  Thank you!  Kathy and Wayne Carpenter, you both have a special place in our hearts and I am so grateful for the years you have poured into City Gates Ministries as the coordinators of our Fall Auction.  Words are not enough to express your dedication and the strenuous hours you have given to help people in the name of Christ!  We are truly indebted to you.  And to all of the volunteers who came under their leadership like Linda – co-coordinator, Becky – dessert coordinator, Jim – head chef, Gail – director of volunteers, Elvana – chief decorator, Dee – design coordinator, Larry – graphics designer and broadcaster, Kathy – computer data entry, Rick and Ann – silent auction planners. Wayne, Carmen, Richard, Lisa and team, – item solicitors, and to all the other volunteers who assisted prior to and during the auction.  For all the seemingly thousands of hours that were invested for all of your hard work rolled out in six hours of fellowship and fun!  Many, many thanks – and blessings to you all.

It was great partnering with South Sound Community Church who coordinated and ensured 180 familiespersonally received a Thanksgiving meal.  Special thanks go to the financial support from The Rock Church and the compassion all of you showed to step out and make yourselves available to show the love of Christ:  Olympia Presbyterian Church for your donations and your heart to serve, and New Horizons for your continued support; The donations of food that poured in from Albertsons volunteers came from members of, Living Water (50+), Nazarene, New Horizon, Lacey Church of God, Faith Assembly, Calvary Chapel, New Life Baptist, Evergreen Christian Center and those awesome Girl Scouts.  Thank You! Wilcox Farm for the 432 dozen eggs,  Faith Harvest for the hundreds of pounds of potatoes and apples and many others that helped supply the boxes.  Thank You! You are City Gates!

On Black Friday I received something that makes all of the work we do seem worthwhile!

She met us on the street at Street Lights over five years ago.  A beautiful woman struggling to make ends meet.  Although she had everything she needed, a house full of love, food, a warm bed, and the comfort of a home that had been provided by a couple who had taken her in. Even with the tangible necessities, there was a hunger deep inside she could not feed. Unsettled, she decided to leave the comforts of a home and to live in her van.

As I began to get to know her I could sense she was determined to find her way. There was such a yearning in her heart to help the needy. We worked with her to provide as much comfort as possible while she was homeless and in return she began to volunteer her time to City Gates. She always kept survival bags for the homeless in her van and she was always there to pray and give hope to people who were down and out.  We often cried together for the lost souls on the street.  It was a blessing to have her serve City Gates while she searched for Gods direction in her life. She would often come to us in tears crying out to God and we would pray and encourage her to find a job, get her own place, you know, “live like the rest of us.”  After all, isn’t that the way it should be?  We often think we know what’s best for the people God puts in our path, but it is only God who can take hunger away and replace it with living water. She was happy on the street, content, and we accepted her situation. Little did we know her faith was at work!

I am always amazed at the lives God brings to us, and I am still learning how to be transparent.  We go to the street with the intention to serve, but often we come to realize we are the ones being served.  I think it is important for us who believe, to view everyone God puts into our lives as vessels to learn from.  Jane soon went back to college and completed her college degree and then began to study Greek.  I have not seen her sense she went back to college three years ago. So to chat with her on Black Friday morning was a big surprise.  She used the Greek alphabet and I never would have suspected we were communicating one-half world apart. Yes, she is now helping the homeless in Egypt!  Just another soul serving the Lord from the streets of Olympia!

Love and blessings to you all,

Phil Prietto

Albertsons Partnership With City Gates

City Gates has been granted a Donation Station inside the Albertsons on Pacific Ave at Lilly Road in Olympia. This provides an exceptional opportunity to collect food and other items in high demand by the client we serve in Thurston County. Cash donations will also be welcome by donors.

Initially collections by our volunteers were limited to 4 days a week, but now  we are able to collect items all 7 days per week.  Volunteers are needed from 10 am to 6 pm to help receive donations each day. It’s desirable to have at least 2 volunteers at a time. Is this an area you can help?

To see what shifts are available, email


Collecting Christmas Cards

When you’re sending out Christmas cards this year, please prayerfully consider filling out an extra card for someone less fortunate. These cards will be handed out on the 2 Thursdays before Christmas – the 13th & 20th.  I’d like to have enough cards to have plenty at each van.

Please include words of encouragement, words of hope, your favorite scripture or a simple Merry Christmas – whatever you feel lead to write.Feel free to sign your card  with your first name or name of your family. Put the card in an envelope, seal it and write “Merry Christmas” on the envelope.

Do not include any money in the cards.  Please bring the cards to “Big Red” – aka the hygiene van – or contact me and I’ll find a way to get them. I’m hoping for at least 100 cards.

~ Holly