The members of Trinity Lutheran Church have a long tradition of responding to the ongoing needs in our community. The need is greater now than ever before to help those less fortunate with basic needs such as housing and food. Please consider helping in any way that you can while still being aware of health safety considerations. Eventually, as more people recover from a bout with COVID-19, their volunteer services will be very valuable in the community. They may, in many cases, be able to return to work. But, even now, if you are at low risk for becoming severely ill, please consider volunteering. There is also a dire need for financial support throughout the Grand Rapids area of non-profits. Clearly, it would be impossible to make an exhaustive list of current opportunities to be of help. Please consider some of the opportunities listed below while continuing to be aware of others that become apparent to you.
State of Michigan: Go to the State of Michigan website often to find many ways to volunteer
Donate blood: As you may have heard, the need for blood is especially urgent. Please know that every effort is being made to keep donors safe. Schedule an appointment by going here or calling 616-774-2300.
Help Make Masks: Trinity’s Lutheran World Relief Quilters are looking into the possibility of sewing masks to serve as protection during the pandemic. While the “best” patterns and their relative effectiveness are being debated, there is the thought that they will serve a purpose for certain populations. Please know that we do not have materials available for you to use so you will need to have your own materials. You will need to determine a specific location that will use the masks and deliver them yourself. Please do NOT drop them off at Trinity. If you are interested in making masks and want to connect with the LWR Quilters for support and ideas, please contact Trinity members Carrie Wygmans or Ruth Ann Evans. To read updated information about donations for Spectrum Health, please go here. Also, check out Vista Springs website for N95 equivalent mask patterns here
Donate Basic Necessities: “In the Image” is not taking their usual donations during the Covid- 19 crisis but, by appointment, you may drop off items such as unopened personal hygiene products like shampoo and deodorant, brand new cleaning/disinfectant products, baby items like formula and diapers and other basic necessities. For details about requested items and how to schedule an appointment, click here to find out more about “Express Giving.” Financial donations are also greatly appreciated.
Housing the Homeless: “Family Promise” has had to temporarily suspend the emergency shelter we know as the “Interfaith Hospitality Network.” Trinity is one of many congregations that open up their buildings four times a year for a week at a time to provide shelter for several families through IHN. For now, the churches are not serving in this way because of safety concerns during the pandemic. Consequently, families are being placed in hotels as an alternative. Financial gifts will be used to support hotels for families, transportation, day care needs, and food. Click here to learn more about donating. Please also consider helping families with critical needs items through “Ready To Go Bags.” Additional information can be found on the Family Promise website.
Volunteer your time: If you are at low risk for becoming severely ill, please consider volunteering through “Heartside Gleaning.” Their Good Food Box Program is helping to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to families in Roosevelt Park. These families were already struggling prior to our recent events. Since universities are still receiving food with no students, there is a potential for a lot of fruits and vegetables to be distributed each week. Volunteers meet outside at the farmer’s market where the produce is delivered. Teens and college students are welcome. It takes about 2 hours from 2 to 4 p.m. each Wednesday. Please click here to sign up to volunteer for a specific date
Walk for Good Food: While there are many things in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community, you can still go for a walk as long as you practice social distancing. Many of you might remember the annual Hunger Walks through “Access of West Michigan.” It is now called the Walk for Good Food. Visit their website to find out how you can help raise funds to address hunger issues in our community.
Dégagé Ministries: Most volunteer opportunities to serve in the dining room at Dégagé have been suspended during the pandemic. This has affected the members of the five teams from Trinity that volunteer there on a regular basis. This non-profit provides critical needs for the most vulnerable population in Grand Rapids. Please go to their website to make a financial donation or purchase much needed supplies through their Amazon account. Items purchased will be delivered directly to Dégagé.
Feeding America West Michigan: This organization is critical to the effectiveness of all of the local pantries as they make food available for distribution at a discount rate. As COVID-19 has closed businesses across West Michigan, many families are suddenly in need of emergency food assistance. They have made adjustments to their distribution methods and are focusing their efforts on Mobile Pantries. $182,000 must be raised to set up sites and ensure safe distribution of food for those who need it most. Every dollar helps as they expect to reach an additional 13,000 households — $1 helps to provide four meals. Please click here to donate.
Lutheran World Relief: COVOD-19 is expected to spread at a catastrophic rate across Africa and health systems are not prepared. You can help the world’s most vulnerable families stay safe. LWR needs to raise $250,000 to fund an early response. For additional information and/or to make a donation, please click here.
Support Local Restaurants: It is so important for us to help offset the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 on area bars and restaurants. Many of these establishments currently have takeout available. To see an updated list of restaurants, click here. And remember to frequent area Culver’s restaurants for takeout to support Trinity members Steve Stephan and Gary Kuhlmann!