One morning this past April, Suzanne and Gerry McCord’s foyer group, along with several members of the St Philip’s Home Mission Team, had a blast volunteering at the Hope to Home Ministry (H2H), a Christian-based ministry whose mission is to collect new or gently used donated home goods and to purchase items such as mattresses and pillows, and then deliver these essential home furnishings to displaced or formerly homeless individuals and families who have recently secured housing. H2H transforms their empty living space into a comfortable “home,” extending the love and hope of Jesus through delivering provisions, praying with recipients before leaving, and personally giving them a Bible. H2H follows up after delivery to be sure recipients are already connected to a church or, if they are not, offering contact information on nearby churches.
Our group met at the H2H warehouse in Charleston, learned more about the ministry, and then selected the area in which we each wanted to serve that day. Some of us helped load trucks with household furnishings from the donations stored in the warehouse and then delivered them to families. Some helped repair broken or “well loved” furniture to get it ready for next week’s deliveries, while others helped unpack and sort donated items and place them in their designated section of the warehouse. Another job was to go “shopping” in the warehouse to collect the donated items on a list then place them into individual kitchen and linen kits for future deliveries.
Jill Settle, Home Missions Team chair, commented, “I am blown away by this ministry which is being run entirely by volunteers, all of whom are sharing the hope of Jesus while providing basic needs to those who are without. I love how founder Tom Young put it, that ‘we deliver hope as much as we deliver furniture.’ It was a blessing and joy to serve with Hope to Home!” Home Missions Team member Connie Rink remarked, “What stood out to me was the enormous hope you could feel from each recipient … the smiles, the joy, and the gratitude.”
As we were working in the warehouse, one of the lead H2H volunteers asked us to stop a minute and join her in a quick prayer. With tears in her voice, she prayed her gratitude for the donations that we were unpacking, stating that God had known the needs and brought just the right items that were specifically needed today. Our group witnessed God’s faithfulness to provide not only with the donations but with the hope in the faces of the recipients who received the much needed home furnishing. God’s spirit was alive and active that morning, and it was a privilege to experience this together as a church community.
About Hope to Home Ministry: H2H works with 16 community service agencies and the recipients’ case workers to get H2H goods into the hands of those who need them most, at no cost to the recipient. H2H partners with agencies such as One80 Place, Navigation Center, My Sister’s House, East Cooper Community Outreach, Charleston Police Department, James Island Outreach, Hope Lodge, I Am Voices, Formation Project, Seacoast Dream Center, Families First, Charleston County Schools, and more. Research shows that making a new house or apartment into a “home” for someone in need lowers the chance of slipping back into poverty and depression to below 10%.
Donation and Volunteer Opportunities: To see a list of needed new or gently used household items and how to donate them, and for information about volunteer opportunities and suggestions for gathering support and going as a group, visit https://hopetohomesc.org/.
By Sandra Anderson, St. Philip’s Church, Charleston
This article first appeared in the e-news of St. Philip’s Church.