Happy Spring! It's a time of new beginnings for many of us - including new jobs and apartments for several of our residents and clients. As we celebrate new life this time of year, let us also remember that many still struggle to make ends meet.
Back in December, tackling the issue of hunger was a natural part of the holidays. It was also my first month at New Bethany. Never in my life have I experienced such generosity. Several times every day, a new person, company team, or church family stopped by our facilities to donate gifts for our residents, hats and scarves for people stepping into our day shelter from the cold, non-perishable food for the pantry, toys for children in our transitional housing residence, and so much more. You did all of this while donating in record numbers to our 21st annual Luminaria Night event. I witnessed a true coming together, people taking action, being the light in our neighbor’s darkest hour.
We’ve now reached the warmer months of Spring, a time when it’s easy to forget that our neighbors still need help. 62,000 people remain food insecure in the Lehigh Valley. New Bethany requires resources to serve over 37,000 lunches and get groceries to 6,000 children, adults, and seniors annually.
On this equinox, the first day of Spring, New Bethany is asking you to Spring Against Hunger, to take action in our 2019 appeal. There are three seasons of giving at New Bethany: Spring Against Hunger, Souper Day in October, and Luminaria Night over the holidays. Some give their annual gift in a lump sum at one of these times. Others join a payment plan or otherwise space out their gift between events.
In addition to your financial support we cannot serve the community without our volunteers. Over 1,000 people come through our facilities every year to serve at our flagship South Side Bethlehem campus or donate much needed supplies.
Donate welcome baskets to formerly homeless residents in our affordable housing program.
Give the gift of bus passes to help people get to their doctor and other appointments on time.
Volunteer at the Mollard Hospitality Center, cooking or serving a lunch.
Tell a friend about what you do to help a neighbor in need. Tag New Bethany on social media.
Dedicate a portion of your own garden to the New Bethany Choice Food Pantry.
No matter what action you take, the staff, board, residents, and guests of New Bethany thank you. I am happy to speak with you about our work at any time. I look forward to continuing the long tradition of generosity at New Bethany.
posted by Marc Rittle, Executive Director of New Bethany Ministries