Ministry celebrates 20 years

By Joyce Ervin

Milan Compassionate Ministry is celebrating their 20 th year of helping hundreds each week with gently-used clothing, personal hygiene items, food staples, meats and fresh produce free to anyone living in Washtenaw County or in the Milan school district with no questions asked.
Now you have an opportunity to help. An anonymous donor has offered to match each donation of $10 with an additional $5 up to $5,000.  Roxie Bryant, leadership team member, said the funds, that are tax deductible, will go toward repairs for the facility’s freezer compartment that is 12 years old.
Individuals or families can shop for all needs each Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon and that would be a good time to drop off a check.
While visiting, often hot soups or casseroles volunteers have prepared at home and bring to the center along with sweets and snacks are served.  And, it tastes good, said volunteer Sebastian Edwards. 
Annie Thacker, a cook in the catering suite at the University of Michigan, made a roaster full of soup for recent visitors.  She also prepares salads and other foods to help recipients learn more about different foods and how to use them.   Thacker said, “I like to educate how simple foods can be to make.”
That roaster looked awfully big, but Thacker said it was nothing to prepare.  On a daily basis preparing meals for the athletic department at the university making soup consists of 75 gallons and 150 pounds of potato salad leaves the kitchen.  
So compassionate are the volunteers at Compassion, Deb Sherer, an interpreter for the deaf, signs with impaired visitors and helps with the selection of needs.
Volunteers from the area come in all shapes and sizes.  A recent visit found teens and the Superintendent of Schools, Bryan Girbach’s family helping to carry groceries to shopper’s cars.
The ministry receives help with USDA meats from the government, Food Gathers and is sponsored by Keystone Church of Saline, Ignite Church of Milan and Agape Apostolic Church of Milan.  Support is also offered by the Milan Free Methodist Church.
No one, Bryant said, is turned away.  The volunteers are friendly and helpful.  The ministry welcomes volunteers.  “Just show up,” Bryant said.
To donate, make checks out either to Milan Compassion Ministry or Ignite Church.  Donations can be taken to the center on Fridays from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. or Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m.
The center is located 120 Hack Street.  For more information, visit their Facebook page, Compassion Ministry of Milan.

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