Jesus met people where they were…..meeting physical needs first, then, ultimately emotional and spiritual needs. Matthew 25:40 says, “Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Community Service of Everett SDA endeavors to follow these principles, as we serve a diversity of people and needs.
Locally, we donate cereal to Everett Food Pantry, every month, and deliver “baby bags” filled with clothing, toiletries and a toy, to area newborns. Boxes of fresh and non-perishable food, plus dry good necessities are given to families in need, over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Currently, our Community Service department is building up its supply of canned and boxed goods, so we are prepared for emergencies or special circumstances. Every other month, the church opens its doors to the Red Cross, serving as a host site for volunteers to donate blood. The past two years, during December, church members have rung bells, collecting money for the Salvation Army. Until the coronavirus pandemic restricted us, we had been visiting and singing with residents of the nursing home at Penn Knoll Village. Non-skid, gripper socks were collected and donated to Penn Knoll residents, as well, this past Christmas, 2020.
Since May 2019, church members have supported the start up of Freedom House Ministries, a Christian based addictions recovery center for men, housed in the former Chalybeate Springs Resort. Assistance with remodeling, dry wall, painting, general repairs, moving large items and cleaning was provided. A variety of items such as cleaning products, paper supplies, dry goods, etc. have been donated. Once restoration of the facility is complete, we hope to help meet spiritual needs of the future residents and their families. Another ongoing outreach is the collection and donation of clothing and hygiene items to Hope Station, a wellness and recovery center for individuals with behavioral/mental health issues, located in Cumberland, Maryland.
This past Christmas holiday season (2020), we even “treated” our furry four footed friends, the dogs, at Bedford County Humane Society with freshly cooked hamburger, rice and vegetables to add to their daily supper of dry food, plus a milk bone biscuit on the side! Plans are underway to schedule regular visits this upcoming summer of 2021, to walk the dogs and deliver needed items.
Additional local outreaches in the last two years, include monetary donations to Your Safe Haven and the Bedford Prison Chapel Ministry. In October 2019, we honored area military veterans with a meal and program of tribute. Future goals include reaching out to veterans again, but by some other venue, as of yet to be determined.
Expanding our ministry to the world, we have participated in Operation Christmas Child, over the years, and most recently again in the last two years. In 2020, we made up and donated over 200 shoeboxes! Currently , church members and friends are collecting specific items each month, hoping to make and send even more boxes for the 2021 season. Annually, we contribute financially, to ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency), to assist with humanitarian aid around the world related to poverty, disease, famine and hunger, sanitation, natural disasters, etc.
Our Community Service department is growing and evolving. We invite you to join us in reaching out to others, as we meet their needs and make friends for God. “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” (Charles Studd)