HomeBerlin NewsKingsway Church provides hope to those in need

Kingsway Church provides hope to those in need

Pastor expects Boxes of Hope effort will continue even after quarantine is lifted .

Photo courtesy of Pastor Bryon White. Volunteers pack “Boxes of Hope” at Kingsway Church in Cherry Hill on Thursday, April 9.

Pastor Bryon White said if there’s one message he’s constantly stressed to members of Kingsway Church, it’s the importance of action. 

“We want people in our church not to sit and watch but to be a part,” he said.

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So when the COVID-19 virus began taking hold of the nation, White wanted to find a concrete way to help people. During a discussion with a friend and fellow pastor, the friend suggested  they draw inspiration from the nonprofit Convoy of Hope, which provides food and supplies to needy populations following disasters. Through Boxes of Hope, Kingsway now provides supplies and a bit of hope to those in need of either.

For those who can’t get essential supplies due to job loss, illness, self-isolation or any other reason, Kingsway offers cleaning supplies, diapers, food and other essential items. Members of the community can offer to pack boxes or can show their support by donating items or funds to help the church purchase supplies.

Kingsway has multiple church locations — including in Burlington and Glassboro — but its Cherry Hill site has become the center of the operation. That location is open for donations Monday through Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. The church offers contactless donation with bins set up  so donors can simply leave supplies without having to interact with anyone.

The church is looking for a wide array of supplies, including toilet paper, paper towels, diapers and canned goods. It also is ordering those items from wholesale distributors, paid for by donated funds.

White said volunteers are following safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Donated items are being stored in the church’s gym, which has become the de facto storage facility since the pandemic broke out. Items are left to sit for at least 24 hours, and from there, staff members wipe everything down with disinfectant wipes. 

As supplies become available, the church asks that teams of six to eight people unpack pallets and pack the boxes of hope. White said any volunteer who feels sick or who has a fever should refrain from participating.

Kingsway also needs drivers to drop off packages. All deliveries are contact free, with supplies left at the front door.

Anyone in need in the South Jersey area can request a box by visiting the church’s website and filling out a form that asks about the number of family members and their age ranges. The boxes are tailored to the respondent’s answers.

White said the church is working slowly, carefully and cautiously as it builds up its operation, but he anticipates keeping the operation going through the summer. Even if the restrictions on social distancing are lifted by then, he added, many residents will still feel the pandemic’s economic repercussions. 

“My perception is the economic impact and need is only beginning to emerge right now.”

Members of the church have been highly responsive to the initiative and are eager to help in any way they can. 

“It seems like people’s compassion and empathy are high right now,” the pastor said.

Kingsway Church is located at 2701 Chapel Ave. in Cherry Hill. Anyone interested in participating in Boxes of Hope can learn how to get involved or how to receive a box at https://kingsway.church/boxes-of-hope

 

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