Deer Park Connects with Community

by Kathy Marson

Deer Park Pathfinder Club helped bring the bags of clothes to the Fireside room for shopping day.
(L to R) Lori Knight and Phyllis Fisher, God's Closet (Deer Park) Directors.
Mindy Lyons helps put clothes on the tables.

Deer Park, Wash., January 3, 2013 - When Phyllis Fisher, newly elected community services leader of the Deer Park, Wash, Adventist Church, heard about a ministry called, God’s Closet, she thought it might be beneficial to the Deer park community. What she found was an amazing way to connect with the community.

Fisher and her assistant, Lori Knight became excited about the potential to provide clothing for the children of their community and minister to the families. They contacted Merryl Tschoepe, founder of Spokane’s God’s Closet, to have her assistance to get started.

Knight said, “Having Merryl help us was huge because she helped us get setup on the web and helped us know where to get clothing.” They began receiving clothing from individuals and from “Other Mothers.” The week of the event, church members and Pathfinders help haul clothing into the fellowship hall. The day before the event, many from the Deer Park community helped sort the clothing by size and gender on tables in readiness for the first shopping spree in November.

“We didn’t expect very many our first time,” said Fisher, “but 61 individuals came out.” Knight and Fisher were joined by a church elder and several volunteers who were able to make the shopping experience a joy. One family asked for Bible studies. One single mom, facing medical challenges in her children’s lives, came for clothing but left with prayers, comfort and understanding. Bible studies were requested by 12 individuals and 35 requested information about children’s programs.

When asked if they would do this again, Fisher said, “definitely! And I recommend this to other churches. It is a wonderful evangelistic tool. We had been struggling with how to let our community know that we love and care for them. This is a wonderful way to do it!”

God’s Closet is a community service ministry which consists of a donation network whereby individuals and businesses are invited to donate gently used and new children’s clothing to God’s Closet. One day per quarter they invite parents and guardians of children to come and shop free of charge, except for a $1 admission fee. In Deer Park, the next God’s Closet is February 8, 2013