Always About Others
BATON ROUGE, LA – It is not unusual for places of worship to come forward with their donations during major holidays. However, such an action becomes unique in the absence of a church elected department leader. This was Berean’s recent experience when member Doris Collins, in the absence of a community services director, approached the pastor, T. Ron Weegar, regarding Christmas dinners for the needy. The church board approved the request with an adequate monetary amount to cover expenses. With former community services coordinators Collins and Lyn Hakeem at the helm, and the amount matched by an anonymous Berean couple who joined members Raven Butler, Carla Chevies, Dan Collins, Arlene Mossey and Cheryl Scott, the team went to work. “Berean doesn’t have a community services department and yet, Berean has a community services department. Ours is a Holy Spirit-driven desire to do what God wants us to do,” says Hakeem. “We are all community services,” chimed in Collins. “We see a need and we passionately respond,” she continued.
The congregation submitted names of community and some of its own who had requested or were observed to be in need. With a comfortable number in mind, Collins and her team began their shopping. What resulted were 44 hefty meals meticulously arranged in large baskets. Each basket was chock-full of the makings for a pasta meal, green salad fixings, beans, rice, potatoes, rolls, fresh fruit and donated turkeys. On the Tuesday and Wednesday before Christmas, team members delivered the dinner and fruit baskets. Recipients included members of apartment complexes, individual homes and the Big Buddy organization—which for the last five years has received box and basket deliveries for several of its needy families.
For Collins and husband Dan, since their 1999 arrival to Berean, this latest experience has continued their gift of help and service. According to Collins, “Giving is my way of letting the Holy Spirit use me. Dan, my 15-year-old niece, Raven, who has been volunteering since she could walk, and I share that gift.” Berean is grateful for Collins and her team who felt the need and acted on it.
By Evelyn M. Edwards
Photos by Doris Collins