The Adventist Community Service Center at Ebenezer Church in Greenville, N.C., distributed more than $50,000 worth of goods donated by two local businesses. Through a long-standing partnership with Good 360 (formerly Gifts in Kind International, founded in 1983), Ebenezer has been the recipient of donated goods from Bed, Bath and Beyond, QVC, and other top retailers. Their most recent acquisition from Advance Auto provided the Adventist Community Service Center with nearly 13,000 items, including approximately 200 batteries worth $15,000.
The Adventist Community Service Center team, with the help of volunteers from the community, logged more than 100 volunteer hours sorting, de-barcoding, and organizing the donated items for distribution.
During Hurricane Matthew in September 2016, the Adventist Community Service Center accumulated three feet of water, losing everything inside, including shelving and fixtures. They had not been able to distribute goods for six months.
The April 11, 2017, event was a two-fold blessing: the grand re-opening of the Adventist Community Service Center, and again being able to service their community’s needs. The event was well attended, and included Alvin Freeman, Adventist Community Service director for the South Atlantic Conference in Decatur, Ga.; Brenda Buie, Eastern North Carolina Adventist Community Service leader in Raleigh, N.C.; and Adventist Community Service volunteers from Raleigh and Fayetteville, N.C. WITN News was present to cover the event.
Dollie Lucas, Adventist Community Service leader at Ebenezer Church, notes, “It is a blessing to be able to help those in need. Everybody needs help some time. And, in these tough economic times, monies that don’t have to be spent on household items can be used for other necessities. When the community comes to Ebenezer, they get more than just the temporal help. They receive tracts, books, CDs, and DVDs that point them to the One who can meet all their needs.”
The Adventist Community Service Center served more than 225 households during their grand reopening celebration. Goods were available to individuals and families in Beaufort, Craven, Edgecombe, Greene, Lenoir, Martin, Pitt, and Wilson counties. Due to time constraints, some 20-plus households have been rescheduled to receive services at a later date.
With the support of its members and PAM (Purpose Adventist Ministries — a campus ministry at East Carolina University), the Adventist Community Services Department provides dinner once a month at their local homeless shelter. Although PAM is a recently organized ministry, the Adventist Community Service Department has provided the evening meal at the local homeless shelter for nearly 25 years.
God’s mercies are to be praised. He poured out such bountiful blessings that there was not room enough to receive them.
Keith Woodard, pastor of Ebenezer Church and a great supporter of Adventist Community Services, says, “This is what service is all about, and it’s a great way to share God’s love with people.”
South Atlantic | July 2017