November 21, 2023
"Caring and sharing the love of God is our mission," Susan Hayden of Trinity Lutheran Church stated, "But I don't believe, nor do my fellow volunteers believe it's just delivering canned goods. It's taking the time to say hello and make a difference just by being yourself."
As chair of the church's Faith in Action Committee, Susan's goal is to draw members of the congregation into understanding the need to help others in the community. Trinity Lutheran is located on Transit Road in Williamsville.
Susan and fellow volunteers from Trinity Lutheran Church knew they had an important role as they served meals at Gerard Place. Under this committee's leadership, more volunteers were recruited and Trinity's role at Gerard Place grew. They began distributing food prior to COVID when sit-down meals were served in the gym.
Trinity volunteers help woth food distribution once a month on Wednesdays and drop off collections from the church community. While the Faith in Action Committee considered working with other charitable organizations, they soon discovered they were spreading themselves too thin and decided to focus on Gerard Place.
"We are best matched with Gerard Place - our mission is to show and share the love of God," she said. "That's the most important thing that any of us do. We have a shopping cart in our church and collect dry goods and canned goods to deliver when we come to visit," Susan said. "However, being a little more imaginative, as time went on, we started to see other ways we could reach out and help others."
At her place of work, she got involved in a children's cancer charity by purchasing boxes of paper towels and toilet paper at a discounted rate. She invited members of her church to purchase items for Gerard Place as well, and they delivered 8 boxes of 96 rolls of toilet paper and a large amount of paper towels.
Susan believes we have become very isolated and do not understand the real needs in our city. She has personally tried to open the door to show her congregation that there is significant need, and they can help alleviate that need.
"This attitude has made a big difference and brought an awareness to our community." she said.