Rev. Amanda Robertson
Good Shepherd & the Tender Heart's 'Corners of the Field' program.
Last month, Good Shepherd was invited to Tender Heart’s Community Partners Breakfast. I asked Renae & Ike Waters, and Selina Woodard to join me, and Jim Bradford was there among other city leaders. The event was an opportunity to hear about the past year of ministry at Tender Hearts, headquartered on Blackburn Avenue in York, and to recognize their community partners.
Tender Hearts provides shelter, transitional housing, job training, counseling and education for women who are struggling and their school-age children. The pandemic has increased needs within the community, and Tender Hearts has responded with increased support. They now have a food pantry and delivery service for those who are homebound. They offer free diapers, formula and baby supplies to families on a regular basis. In the past year, they have created 68 jobs for members of the community and announced plans for a men’s shelter. Their story is inspiring.
Ainslee Moss, founder and director, says their successes are only possible because of their partnerships throughout the community. She works with other shelters and organizations in the area trying to ensure that efforts are not duplicated but that everyone is served. For example, the Tender Hearts food pantry is open on days when PATH is not and focuses on those who lack transportation or have mobility issues for whom delivery is the best option.
Good Shepherd has partnered with Tender Hearts through their Corners of the Field program. At the breakfast we were presented with $650 in gifts cards to their Thrift Shops.
Here is how it works. I clean out my closets and find items to donate. I take these items to the donation center in York or Rock Hill. At the donation drop-off, there should be a binder where I can list “Church of the Good Shepherd” as the community partner for the donation (I can still request a separate receipt of the charitable donation for my personal taxes, if desired). Tender Hearts values the donated items and converts a percentage into gift cards that Good Shepherd then receives to be able to share with those in need.
Anyone may encounter members of our community who are seeking financial assistance. Having a few Tender Hearts Thrift Store gifts cards to offer is one way to respond. Please let me know -- on a Sunday morning or stop by the church office during the week -- if you would like to have some gift cards on hand to distribute.
“Keeping a tender heart toward those in need” is the motto of Tender Hearts ministries. When we witness the trauma of poverty and hunger, it is tempting to turn away and guard ourselves and our resources. A tender heart remains open to the pain of another. Hearts that are open feel the pain and the call to respond and partner with those offering support and hope. We are grateful to be community partners with Tender Hearts.