A group of young adults from Newville First Church of God is helping to fulfill the needs of the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kris Hall of The Gathering said the community has really helped them to reach out to some of the most vulnerable residents as they cope with loss of work and resources.

“God has placed this mission on the hearts of The Gathering as we seek your help to accomplish this mission,” Hall noted. “We are preparing Care Bags for those in need to show we care. We are reaching out to the homeless, elderly, low income, Veterans and the trucking community. We are filling bags with non-perishable food items, hygiene and paper products. It became more evident with the current situation how limited folks are in our reach. I see first-hand the need to help these folks. Benefits only allow spending for food to last a week. And the amounts were so minimal, as low as $15 a week, for food. How can we help prepare if quarantine was mandated? With the uncertainty of the days ahead, God kept telling me to care for these people.”

Hall said the need grew as they watched access to food establishments for truck drivers become limited, as they work tirelessly to keep up with the demand of replenishing our shelves.

“We are partnering with Chaplain Craig from the Carlisle Truck Ministry to help us distribute those bags. Tanis, Cindy and Beth from Serving the City: Carlisle are volunteering to deliver the Care Bags. Rusty at Geodis Carlisle helped us with Bath and Body Works care items, such as hand soap, body wash and lotion, that have added a sweet smell to our bags. We are so grateful for the community’s help!”

Hall said she and her husband, Kelly, purchase the items for the bags early in the morning to avoid too much exposure.

“It’s so important at this time to protect others,” she said. “We clean the items before sending them on their way. I have Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves and a mask in my car.”

Hall said it costs about $50 to fill each of the bags they distribute, and are seeking donations from the community to help fill the need. They have distributed at least 30 bags already, and are hoping those in need will reach out to The Gathering to be put on the distribution list.

“If you know someone that could use a care bag, please send a message through Facebook Messenger to Kelly Hall with the name, address and phone number,” she said. “We will do our best to fulfill these requests. Our goal is set high, and I know through God and His people, we can make a difference. How many will we do 50....100....200? God knows and we will just keep packing and delivering. Watch for updates as we start the crusade that God is leading us through in times of turmoil. God bless you all and thank you.”

Donations may be sent to Newville First Church of God,  c/o The Gathering, 475 Shippensburg Road, Newville, Pa. 17241.

Memo line: The Gathering Cares. 

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