It has been 10 years since we opened the Lehigh Valley Outreach Depot, and we have worked our way through a number of challenges including a change of leadership and a move to our own warehouse. As it is for everyone, however, this season of coronavirus has provided the most unique challenge of all. How do we go forward with our ministry while keeping our guests and our volunteers safe? How do we provide furniture, housewares, and emergency supplies to those in need while continuing to offer nonjudgmental emotional support?
Even though we shut down making appointments at the end of March, we were still able to supply some health care workers with masks and gloves, and we sent personal care kits to three local men’s shelters. Meanwhile, we began making plans for reopening—easing our way back with some new strategies and masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing, and temperature taking. Volunteers came in for 2 days to clean and reorganize, and then we opened up for just the guests who already had appointments to pick up chosen items. Unfortunately, only one guest showed up for that but the time was not wasted because we were able to retag the unclaimed items and 4 people stopped by with donations for us.
This week, we are reopening for first time guests. We are encouraging them to take their items on their first visit, are limiting their selection time to one hour and allowing only the person with the referral to come inside. (Anyone they bring with them must wait outside.) Barring any other adjustments we have to make, we expect to be open as before: Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9:00 to 2:30.
Thankfully, so many people have continued to support us through our shutdown (financially as well as in other ways) that we feel truly blessed.
What do we need? As always, more volunteers — men and women — for a variety of tasks. Particularly, at the moment, we are looking for someone to fill Don Follmer’s shoes doing small repairs on furniture. Don has been our “Dr. Fixit” since we opened but at age 94 feels it’s time to hand in his tool belt. We thank him for all his work. We will miss having him with us.
To volunteer, contact Barbara Reimers.
Find new ways to meet overlooked needs, and remember:
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
Want to know more?
- Learn about our church and its ministries: https://wesleychurch.com/
- Make a gift to support our mission: https://wesleychurch.com/giving-2/
- View our recent messages: https://wesleychurch.com/sermon-message-on-video/
- View previous devotionals: https://wesleychurch.com/pastor-candys-devotionals-2/