By Paige K Slighter
Though we’re unable to hold events or weekend services at Woodland, we’re still doing everything we can to support those in need. We’ve been working closely with our partner organizations to make sure families have childcare and are well fed.
During the week, our building hosts Close to My Heart Daycare, a program that is especially crucial now, even for parents who are working from home. The teachers there are passionate about providing a nurturing environment for each child. With that in mind, our excellent Facilities staff are committed to keeping shared spaces sanitized and germ-free. Our receptionist is also on-site greeting families and reminding everyone to wash their hands as they enter the building. We’re doing all that we can to make sure the daycare stays open and continues their mission in the safest way possible.
Since 2011, Woodland has been the permanent home for one of Merrick’s food shelves, serving individuals and families to help eliminate hunger. Around two weeks ago, Merrick’s staff had to move to their other location on Arcade Street due to the influx of volunteers and families in need. We knew that this would heavily affect those who depend on our location, so, we put our heads together and offered to pay for extra deliveries and have some of our staff run the food shelf on Merrick’s behalf. Even Greg chipped in!
In our first week, we prepared 62 “To-Go” boxes with curbside pickup. These boxes include enough produce and protein to provide meals for several days. Paula, one of our Associate Children’s Pastors, has been helping with distribution on-site, and she is amazed by the beautiful produce included. She said, “It’s nice to know we’re giving such fresh fruit and vegetables.”
Each week, we receive a new food delivery including produce, canned items, dried pasta, dairy and bread among other staples. Mary, our Associate Care Pastor, said, “It’s fun adding extra little snacks to each box.” She’s part of the team that unloads the deliveries and sorts the food. She said, “It feels good to give hope to these families and let them know we’re here for them.” With our help, Merrick has been able to increase their distribution by 50 percent.
None of this would be possible without the prayers and financial support of the church. Thank you for helping us provide essential resources and love to our neighbors. As of now, we do not need extra volunteers or food, but thank you to all of you who have offered. As this is an evolving situation, we’ll let you know if anything changes.
If you have any questions, feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.