Veterans benefit from Mt. Zion Lutheran Church donations
In our worldwide task of caring for the hungry and despairing, in the harvest we all share, God’s will be done. (From the hymn “For the Fruit of all Creation”)
Jeff Wetzel of Mount Zion Lutheran Church, Krumsville, thought of a new way to honor mothers on Mother’s Day and fathers on Father’s Day.
Why not collect food during that period to give to Veterans Making a Difference at the Paul R. Gordon Veterans Social Center, Reading, he thought to himself.
Vicar Jeremiah Heydt told Wetzel he should come up with some ideas on the concept. Church members were asked to bring nonperishable food items to the church between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
On the latter day, as congregants arrived at church, they brought along more food to add to the 300 cans and bottles already neatly stacked at the front of the church, along with a sign reading “Hands and Hearts with a Mission.”
Wetzel said in previous years, mothers and fathers were given trinkets on their special days.
The food to help veterans would be more of an honor.
Wetzel is Mt. Zion’s Thrivent congregational advocate.
Thrivent Financial, a Lutheran organization, and its members provide volunteer services to charitable organizations, schools, congregations and individuals in need. Nationwide the fraternal benefit society contributed $182.7 million to organizations and activities that aim to strengthen families and communities.
The church received $250 that was used to purchase food but all the gallon cans, Wetzel said, were from church members.
Thrivent gives seed money to many action teams that have plans for charitable projects.
At various times church members take food to Reading and prepare it for those in need. Other organizations may help with this, such as 4-H. A recent meal was pancakes and sausage.
Wetzel who also belongs to the music committee at church involved that group in the project.
U.S. Army retired Liz Graybill of Veterans Making a Difference, thanked the congregation for inviting them.
She said they do get food from the Berks food bank but that is only for the poor.
Doug Graybill, USMC, of Veterans Making a Difference, told the congregation they get some food every week.
There is a clothing room and personal care items are available at the Paul R. Gordon Veterans Social Center in the Hope Rescue Mission where veterans can get a shower and a meal.
Ten years ago, they began giving out bags of food, socks or whatever was needed.
“We help pay utility bills and help veterans apply for VA benefits,” Liz Graybill said.”
She is a certified peer support specialist and VFW service officer. She can be reached at 484-577-6898 by veterans needing assistance.
During the church service, there was a “jingle” collection by the children.
This is a collection of change that adds up to between $500 to $600 each quarter.
For this quarter, the recipient was the Asylum Seekers Ministry, which is helping a family as they wait for asylum to be granted to them.
Vicar Heydt asked all the fathers to stand and be recognized. He then asked everyone who ever had a father to stand.
His sermon was about the greatness of God.
“To see God’s greatness, we have to focus on the future,” Vicar Heydt told those gathered.
Veterans needing assistance may contact Liz Graybill at Veterans Making a Difference at 484-577-6898.