By Mary Kohlsdorf, Director of Outreach.
The Ridge is alive and well!
The church has been creative in finding new ways to serve when social distancing and quarantine have been the norm. One of the most profound opportunities that became obvious to us in this season, was serving seniors in our community who were isolated, yet high risk and unable to get out and about. In contacting several subsidized senior living apartment complexes in Ankeny, we soon learned of a BIG need—grocery shopping for seniors. A request was made for “shoppers,” and, as usual, The Ridge stepped up to the plate. Week after week volunteers from The Ridge have been shopping for seniors at three different buildings in Ankeny. It has proved to be a very tangible way of loving those who are often forgotten. James 1:27 says: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress. Most of the seniors we have been serving are, indeed, widows. We will be sharing some stories in the coming weeks of the “adventures of shopping for seniors.” We hope you will check back here often to be encouraged and inspired. You might even need some Kleenex on occasion.
Deb tells this story of her experience:
When COVID started and my part time job and volunteer gigs ended, I still wanted a way to serve those in need. So when church asked for volunteers to help seniors with groceries, I jumped at the chance. I started back in April getting groceries for two senior widows. Both have health risks and physical ailments that make it hard for them to be out and about. One of the “ladies,” as I call them, seemed really down right before Mother’s Day. She is estranged from her son,and both her Mother and sister have passed away. It pulled on my heart.So the day before Mother’s Day, I delivered her some flowers and her favorite ice cream.. Being a single mom in the past, I hate to see any mother not be honored. She called me an hour later and sounded so different. She thanked me again and again and let me know how much it lifted her spirits. I’ve been serving my two ladies for four months, and I look forward to Thursday shopping as much as they do.
We talk every week and sometimes more and share more and more of our stories with each other. We are now praying for each other, and I am helping one get to her surgery for her foot which was originally supposed to be in April and was put off. I don’t know how long I will serve these ladies but will as long as they need me. I’m thankful I can give back during this time in my life.