Managing Motherhood, a ministry of Salem Lutheran in Ephrata, helps mothers of young children with basic necessities – items that fall through the cracks of governmental assistance programs. This accompaniment model of ministry seeks to walk alongside of these young mothers. The Lower Susquehanna Synod Mission Fund is grateful to partner with them through a financial grant.
Managing Motherhood is an outreach to parents of young children in our neighborhood who need to supplement supplies of hygiene products for themselves and their children. There are no locations in Lancaster County where individuals can go and pick up diapers, wipes, feminine hygiene products, shampoo, soap or deodorant. Financial assistance from neither Women, Infant and Children nor the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Programs covers the cost of these basic needs. Providing the hygiene products contributes to the cleanliness and physical well-being of individuals using them for themselves and their family members. The positive emotional feelings one receives from good hygiene practices is immeasurable. The program then allows families to allocate income for other basic needs.
Salem Church works with Ephrata Area Social Services, Wellspan Health, Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services, House of His Creation and Zion Lutheran Church to inform those in need of Managing Motherhood. Once participants arrive at Managing Motherhood, we share conversation with them and invite them to join us in worship. Hosts at Salem pack bags of requested supplies and share devotion with them. Managing Motherhood participants have joined in worship on Christmas Eve and the Advent Event.
Initial purchases to begin the program were funded by a one-time financial gift to the church. Members and friends of Salem have donated all other items to continue serving the community. The church secretary composes a monthly shopping list of items that are most needed for Managing Motherhood and it is included in the bulletin. Based on average monthly totals of items provided to community members, the cost per month of the program is about $600. Committee members shop monthly to maintain a supply of products that are needed beyond the received donations and church members staff the event about three hours per month.
As believers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are called to serve others. Managing Motherhood is a service project to help those most in need, women, children and families. We at Salem are practicing the Gospel by continuing to serve and meet the needs of the community on a consistent monthly basis.
Diaper closets are full and ready for this month’s event, but will not be nearly as full after the morning is over.
Shampoo, conditioner, soap and deodorant still need to be restocked for this month’s event.