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Risen Savior to launch Supply Closet

Photo by Royal Smith

A vintage, cast-iron bell hangs at the ready in the tower of Huntington’s Risen Savior Angelican Church. If needed, the bell will ring Aug. 27, announcing the opening of the church’s popular supply closet, located at 404 Grayston Ave. The birth of the supply closet began as the church’s Father Rick Leone and wife attended a conference, Matthew 25 Initiative, in El Paso, Texas — a movement to promote Apostolic missions and ministries in every parish of the denomination in Canada, U.S., and Mexico.

Their attendance promoted the call to expand the church’s ministry to the Huntington community. The initial thought was to offer a food bank. But, a meeting between Father Rick, Father Skip Beyer, associate pastor of Risen Savior Church, and members of  Love Inc., non-profit organization, to discuss community needs and the call to assist sent them in a different direction. The group became aware that supplies such toiletries, cleaning supplies, and other non-perishable products could be stored and distributed in some way to serve the community. Those thoughts, along with the diligent work of Father Rick, Father Skip, Janet Troyer of Love Inc., and members of the church — Stanley and Barb Egolf and Glynna Harmon — resulted in the supply closet becoming a reality.

The 50-member church and its volunteers started collecting supplies and money; many supplies appropriately placed as a gift at the altar. Eventually, approximately $2,500 was collected. “Our goal was set at $5,000, and we were aware of a matching grant program through the Matthew 25 Initiative that we attended,” said Father Rick. “The smallest grant was stipulated at that amount. We’re a small congregation, so that was a significant amount for us to raise.” The grant was applied for before the full amount was collected and the church was given the match and more, according to Father Rick. “With the help of an anonymous couple’s donation from another state, the $2,500 already collected, and the grant program money’s provided, we had $8,000 to launch the program,” he said. “We have had a constant help from God, and the funds will be used entirely for the supply closet.” 

The second and fourth Saturdays of the month will be set for the community to come to the church and receive supplies. Those who come will register with Love Inc. to keep a list of those participating, and Love Inc. will be referring individuals to the supply closet prior to the stipulated open Saturdays. "No-one will be turned away if they come on Aug. 27, but we will be checking people in and getting them registered with and for Love Inc.,” said Father Rick. On the fourth Saturday of the month, a lunch will be served to those picking up supplies.

“It’s a privilege to serve the community and assist those in need,” said Father Skip, whose enthusiasm was matched by Love Inc.’s Janet Troyer. “We’re excited about this whole venture, and we are glad the church is so willing to step out in a step of faith to help the community,” she said.