Our Next Distribution Weekend
February 21st and 22nd 9am-1pm
On Sunday, June 18, 2017 the Hellertown Lions Club joined us for worship and presented us witha check to assist with the needs of the Clothing Ministry. We are thankful for their generosity.
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Have you ever had the feeling that a small congregation cannot do a great big mission ministry? Maybe you’ve felt as if the age of the congregants would prevent any amazing ministries from happening. Well, we at Mountainview can assure you that if you trust in what God is calling you to do, even a small church can do phenomenal work.
In February of 2013, four members of our congregation decided that it would be a good idea to volunteer for a day at the Staten Island Clothing Distribution. We loaded in our car and headed to NY. The time that we spent in NY was great. We learned all about how their distribution works and about all of the people that they have helped in the past 10 years. On the drive home, we talked about if we thought our little church could take on a ministry like this. After a few minutes of brainstorming, we had the building laid out. We knew that women’s clothing would go in our largest available space and that the Sunday School rooms would hold the children’s and men’s clothing. We had decided how we would go about collecting clothing, sorting clothing and how the distribution would work. We were excited…all we had to do was to get the rest of the congregation on board.
At our anniversary worship service a few weeks later, Pastor Jodie shared with the congregation that our local food bank currently had 637 clients and that there was also a need among the clients for clothing. The congregation was shocked to learn that the number was that high, how could our little community have that many people in need. She asked the congregation what they thought could be done to help. After letting them ponder that for a minute, she said to them, “As followers of Jesus Christ, we turn to scripture for guidance and counsel. In the Gospel of Matthew we read, 'Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. 'Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'” (Matthew 25:34-40)
Pastor Jodie then shared with them the dream of the four Staten Island travelers, to have a clothing distribution ministry at Mountainview. She walked them through how the process would work from collection, to sorting, to distribution. She asked them to please sign up for any of the different steps that they would like to help with. 75% of the people in worship that day signed up to help. The remaining 25% agreed to pray for the ministry but they were unable to help due to physical limitations. The congregation was now determined to make this ministry a success regardless of the cost, but thankfully we applied for and received a grant through the Eastern District Executive Board to make this dream project a reality. We believed that God was calling us to this ministry and we knew that somehow it would all come together.
And that has truly happened. Since our first distribution in August of 2013, we have assisted over 4,800 people with receiving clothing and over 55,000 items have been distributed. Those items include shirts, sweaters, pants, shorts, dresses, skirts, swimsuits, under garments, socks, shoes, hats, gloves, scarves, purses and coats (all seasons).
Our Clothing Ministry continues to grow and unfold. We keep some backstock of items that are left over after our distribution weekends to serve as an emergency clothing bank for anyone who is in need. The area pastors as well as other local agencies are aware of our supply of clothing and our willingness to help everyone in need. Through our emergency distribution we have helped over 100 people including several families that lost everything in house fires.
We at Mountainview, have been truly blessed by this ministry. We have heard God’s calling and we stepped up to the plate to follow his direction and now we couldn't imagine not having this ministry. Volunteers are always welcome to help with sorting, set-up and distribution...call the church office for information (610-838-9344).
Sorting the Donations
Before our Clothing Distribution weekends we sort all of the donations that we have received by gender and size. The second step is to organize it by style. As we are sorting, we carefully look at each piece of clothing to check for any stains/rips/holes etc. If an item is deemed unusable, we recycle it.
For a week before the distribution days, we are working hard to get all of the rooms set up and organized. The clothing is divided into several rooms:
Women's Clothing in the Dayspring Room (fellowship hall)
Girls' Clothing in a classroom
Boys' Clothing in another classroom
Men's Clothing in a third classroom
Pews in the sanctuary will have hats, gloves, coats and shoes on them.
Ready to Open the Doors
We open our doors for individuals in need of clothing for two Saturdays in January and for two Saturdays in August. We are open from 9am-1pm.
Upon arrival, each family receives a number and when their number is called, they check -in, are assigned a personal shopper and begin to select their clothing. One person is allowed to shop for their entire family. Individuals do not need to be present to get clothing. Because of the potential waiting time, we do have snacks, magazines and coloring books available to pass the time.
At the end of each set of distribution weekends, we pack all of the clothing up and have it available for any emergency needs that may arise.
We have repurposed a classroom to have shelving to store the boxes.