Meridian Launches God’s Closet, Overwhelmed by Response
When Meridian Church pastor Michael Pearson encouraged his church members to prayerfully consider developing acts of kindness projects to reach people in their community, church treasurer Beverly Logan had an idea: Maybe we should organize a God’s Closet.
A local church community services initiative started by lay members in 2009 and supported by North American Division (NAD) Adventist Community Services (ACS), God’s Closet is gaining momentum and being embraced by local churches divisionwide.
Logan heard about the program some years earlier. When Pearson offered to provide $100 from special church evangelism funds to jumpstart acts of kindness projects, Logan decided it was time to step out in faith.
“God’s Closet seemed like something our 75-member church could handle,” Logan says. “We could use the $100 as seed money to cover expenses. It was the incentive to get started.”
God’s Closet is a “shopping” event held four times a year for those in need of children’s clothing, shoes and bedding. Church members as well as people and organizations in the community donate children’s clothes, which volunteers then gather and sort. On event days, families in the community pay $1 to shop for children’s clothes. Logan promoted the event using Facebook.
“It just went like wildfire,” she says. “I would wake up in the morning and have 20 or 30 messages posted during the night asking about the program and wanting to donate clothes. It was very effective.”
Logan plus Meridian Church members Carolyn Curtis and Pat Britzius comprised the three-person core group that organized the first Meridian God’s Closet, held at the church Sept. 22, 2017. They were assisted by God’s Closet founder Merryl Moore. Although they admit the turnout exceeded their expectations and the amount of clothes available, they all deemed the event a success.
“People came from all over the Treasure Valley and were so appreciative of what we were doing,” Curtis says. “We were filling a real need, and it was an honor to be able to share with them what other people had donated and shared with us.”
Britzius agrees and describes the event as a “fun way” to help the community.
“Being a mom myself I understand how difficult it is to keep kids in clothes, and many of the people who came are living below poverty level. I believe we were doing God’s work," she shares.
Maitland DiPinto, NAD ACS director for community engagement, describes God’s Closet as a ministry with a lot of potential. “It’s simple, it’s straightforward, it has a big impact on the community, it gets men and women from all age groups involved, and it doesn’t cost very much to run,” he says. “It has all the earmarks of something very meaningful that a lot of our churches could do.”
Most importantly, DiPinto adds, God’s Closet builds relationships.