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‘Noisy’ help for downtown Fellowship Center

Main Street United Methodist Church recently showed its support for the good work at the Suffolk Christian Fellowship Center with a “noisy” donation and plenty of footwear.

Each year the downtown Suffolk church holds a “Stewardship Campaign” that divides the calendar year into quarters, with a different emphasis for each quarter, according to an article written by Barbara McPhail of Main Street United Methodist Church.

For its most recent quarter, children at the church collected a “noisy offering.” The congregation collected coins over the course of several weeks, then brought them to church on May 5.

It was during that May 5 service that Lorna Slaughter, executive director and chief operating officer of SCFC, shared the Center’s mission with the congregation. The children then pulled a wagon down the aisle, collected the coins and poured them into buckets — which made for a very “noisy offering,” McPhail wrote.

On Monday, church member Michaela Waddell, 6, and others visited the Center at 211 E. Washington St. to present Slaughter with a check for $1,186.51. These funds will be used to buy pallets of food for those in need.

“The support not only encourages us, but it alleviates the weight of us doing this alone,” Slaughter said on Monday.

According to Slaughter, the center is one of Suffolk’s busiest outreach centers and offers free groceries, meals, clothing, household goods and other resources to anyone who comes for help. The center is located in the heart of downtown and is surrounded by low-income neighborhoods and subsidized senior housing, where these services are needed the most.

Residents can come into the center and “shop” for the groceries and clothes that they need.

“One of the most important things is that it gives people options,” said Richard Meiser, pastor at Main Street United Methodist Church. “They pick their own food, and there are healthy choices.”

SCFC feeds at least 300 families per month and goes through a minimum of about 35,000 pounds of food monthly, which equates to more than 400,000 pounds of food annually.

In addition to the check, the church also donated 1,500 pairs of Bombas socks that will distributed to members of the community. The church has become a distributor for Bombas, which donates a pair of socks for every pair that the company sells.

“It’s such a blessing just to be able to help in that way,” said Main Street United Methodist Church Children’s Resource Coordinator Karen Waddell, who coordinated the partnership with Bombas.

The church is committed to continuing its partnership with SCFC’s outreach ministry and its ongoing services for the Suffolk community.

“We feel that supporting other ministries is good for the entire community,” Meiser said. “It’s more representative of the kingdom of God when we can all work together.”

For more information on the Suffolk Christian Fellowship Center and how to support its ministry, call Slaughter at 773-4372.