[Diocese of Central Pennsylvania] Deacons in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania answered a request made by Bishop Nathan D. Baxter to reach out to their fellow deacons in the diocese of New Jersey in response to Hurricane Sandy.
“When our bishop wished for the diocese to make a response to the victims of Superstorm Sandy, the deacons were eager to meet the challenge,” said Archdeacon Molly Solbak, St. James’ Episcopal Church, Lancaster, and archdeacon for deacons for the diocese. “I recruited a deacon to set the program in motion in each of our seven convocations,” said Solbak. The bishop asked for personal hygiene items and small stuffed animals.
The deacons quickly rose to the occasion by phoning every parish in their respective convocation, asking for each parish to collect and bag personal hygiene items and new stuffed toys. Many of the parishes participated even though some already had other emergency storm responses in the works. Solbak made contact with the Diocese of New Jersey’s Deacon Carmen Viola who helped her make connections for help in receiving the items that were gathered.
In less than two weeks, the seven deacons collected more than 500 stuffed toys and almost 70 boxes of personal hygiene items. On Dec. 15 Deacon Jack Hoffer of Trinity Church in Tyrone and volunteer Bob Jones, of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in State College, delivered the items to a warehouse in New Jersey for future distribution to those in need with hopes that the children who have lost much may have a teddy bear or toy this Christmas season.
— Linda Arguedas is canon for communications and events in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania.