by Cindy Lilleoien
People’s City Mission has for over 100 years been helping struggling folks get back on their feet. Among services that include housing the homeless in a west Lincoln location, the Mission now operates its Help Center (HC) at the former Hancock Fabrics location on the east side of town.
The HC is “dedicated to making much-needed items available at no charge to those who need it most.” Such items include food, clothing, shoes, personal care items, furniture and household goods. As supplies allow, diapers, formula, children’s car seats and strollers may also be available. The HC is open for shopping at dedicated times on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Families may take 25 items of clothing per family, two times per week. Shoppers must be at 200% of the federal poverty level or below. One food basket per family is available once every other month.
I had previously volunteered at a former People’s City Mission distribution center, and on Gods Work Our Hands Sunday on September 9, I wanted to see the new venue. So, I volunteered with eight other First Lutheran members to set up the merchandise (all donated items) for clients’ shopping activities to take place the next day. Our job was to unload the previously sorted items from over sized shopping carts and to display them in attractive arrangements, which almost rivaled displays at regular retail stores.
I feel helping the HC clients and others is an important way for us to share our abundance and to let our lights shine in the community. It is a way for us to be Church and to make a statement that being Christian is about love, not hate. Serving shoulder to shoulder with other First Lutheran members, also allowed us the opportunity to get to know each other better while doing God’s work.
At the conclusion of our service, we gathered with the HC staff person and offered our “sending” prayer. I left feeling grateful for First Lutheran and its dedication to accompanying our fellow brothers and sisters in need.