Reaching the marginalized and oppressed: Berlin UMC
June 7, 2022 / By UNY Communications
For the past 10 years, Berlin UMC has hosted "Hand me down days,” a clothing giveaway. The church members erect a tent in the parking lot and for 2-6 weeks, depending on the year, the tent is open for people to come and take whatever clothing they can use. When the event is complete, the remainder of the clothing is divided among other ministries handing out clothing. Some is kept in storage at the church to assist families who experience a fire, flood, or some other disaster.
For two-and-a-half years, Berlin UMC has hosted the Community Food Closet. While the Closet has a steering committee from the community, it is housed and administered through the church. Once a month, the church offers a free community meal open to all. They usually feed at least 50 families with 150-175 people. Meals are delivered to those that cannot pick them up. They do not belong to the Regional Food Bank.
This summer, Berlin will host the second annual Lunch Bucket Program. Last year, they delivered lunch supplies to families in the area who have children. The buckets include food enough for five lunches for every child. These are not pre-made lunches but the supplies to make lunches. Each week has a theme that they try to base some of the food around.
The church also makes referrals to the Community Emergency fund, administered by the Seventh Day Baptist Church. The fund helps people with fuel, appliances, and other money emergencies.