Church: Champlin UMC
District: Big Waters
Submitted by: Rev. Diane Christianson
On August 4, Champlin United Methodist Church and some partner organizations provided hundreds of clothing items to more than 120 families in need.
Their “boutique,” which allowed families to “shop” for items ranging from snow pants and winter coats to shoes and gloves, was made possible through a unique partnership between the church, other faith groups, local schools, and the surrounding community. It’s a way that Champlin UMC connects with its mission field and helps fulfill God’s call to heal a broken world.
The clothing that was given away actually came from local schools. When the last school year ended, students were reminded to clean out their lockers completely—but lots of clothing was left behind. Along with school faculty and staff, and other community volunteers, members of Champlin UMC cleaned out the lockers at six northwest metro area schools. Fifteen members of the congregation took the clothing to the Laundromat last month and washed it—47 loads in all.
Families that came to the boutique received not only free clothing items (as many as they needed), but also backpacks, school supplies, and snack bags. Attendees could also get haircuts, dental screenings, and other services at no cost thanks to volunteers.
The boutique was open for three hours, and 40 to 60 families entered each hour.
The partnership that enabled the boutique began in August 2011. Called “Better Together,” it came out of a need identified by the Anoka-Hennepin School District. Over the past three years, those involved have provided numerous items and services to families in need—clothing, school supplies, furniture and beds, personal hygiene items, bus passes, and tuition to a before- and after-school care program, among others.
To families in need, these items are a blessing. To members of Champlin UMC, they are a way to spread the love and light of Jesus.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church