Church volunteers prepare and serve meal for Hope Rescue Mission

Jane Kinder, Anna Brown, Betty Clark, and Mary Graefe of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Douglassville prepape a meal for Hope Rescue Mission of Reading.
Jane Kinder, Anna Brown, Betty Clark, and Mary Graefe of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Douglassville prepape a meal for Hope Rescue Mission of Reading. Rebecca Blanchard — Digital First Media
Anna Brown helps to prepare shepherd’s pie which was served at Hope Rescue Mission on Friday, March 17.
Anna Brown helps to prepare shepherd’s pie which was served at Hope Rescue Mission on Friday, March 17. Rebecca Blanchard — Digital First Media

On Thursday, March 16, a group of women were busy in the kitchen at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church preparing shepherd’s pie — one hundred servings worth — for the men at Hope Rescue Mission.

For the past several years, St. Paul’s of Douglassville has been helping Hope Rescue Mission of Reading. This is the second time they’ve prepared a dinner to serve; they also have provided bagged lunches and held a coat drive.

Betty Clark, an organizer of the church outreach group, said Thrivent Financial helped to fund the dinner and food donations such as mashed potatoes were collected from the church congregation. In addition, some of the ladies made cookies and brought other baked goods such as banana bread to serve after the meal.

“As they’re relaxing, some of us go out among the men and talk to them. I like to ask what brought them to Hope Rescue and the stories are amazing,” said Clark.

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She said every time the church group leaves Hope after one of these outreach trips, they acknowledge they how blessed they feel.

“Those men, every one, without exception, says ‘thank you.’ And over half will say ‘God bless you.’”

Clark became initially involved with Hope Rescue through a coat drive she helped organize.

“It’s not just a hand out,” she said. “The program of Hope Rescue is to give them a hand up, not a hand out.”

She said there was an overwhelming amount of interest from the church to help serve the dinner on Friday, March 17. Ten volunteers were selected, and Clark reported on Tuesday, March 21, that the evening was a success.

“The dinner went great! The men came back for seconds — and a few for thirds! It’s always such a pleasure to go there and meet with the men being helped.”

Clark says she hopes this effort will inspire others to help those in need.

About the Author

Rebecca Blanchard

Rebecca won't hesitate to tell you that she has enjoyed writing throughout her entire life. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, she graduated from the professional writing program of Kutztown University in 2012. Rebecca joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in July of 2012 as editor of The Boyertown Area Times following her internship with the newspaper. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling and cooking gluten-free foods. Reach the author at rblanchard@berksmontnews.com or follow Rebecca on Twitter: @boyertowntimes.