March 27, 2020
Since the most recent order of Governor Wolfe, for those of us in Allegheny County to stay at home, we are suspending drop-offs in our Oakmont location.
We, at The Blessing Board, want to be part of the solution in flattening the COVID-19 curve. We encourage you to take the necessary steps to maintain the proper physical and social distancing that will enable us together to stop the spread of this virus.
Please check back often for any updates or changes. As always, we appreciate your prayers and continued financial support during this trying time.
March 20, 2020
“The best laid plans of mice and men…” Robert Burns
We wrote earlier this week of our plans to modify our approach in serving the families in need. That all changed Thursday evening with Governor Wolfe’s order to close all non-life-sustaining businesses. It is with prayerful concern that we announce that we have suspended serving families through April of 2020. Our target date for reopening and serving is May 2, 2020. Our McKeesport location will be closed until May 2, 2020. Our Oakmont location will run with a skeletal crew accepting drop-off donations from 9:00am – 3:00pm Monday through Friday. Our residential pick-ups will be handled with a modified approach. We apologize for any hardship that this decision has caused. We look forward to reopening soon and anxiously await the opportunity to serve our families. Please prayerfully consider financially supporting our ministry through these uncertain times.
Rich Garland, Executive Director, The Blessing Board
March 18, 2020
Message from the Chairman of the Board
In the fall of 1854, Charles H. Spurgeon, the newly called pastor of London’s Park Street Chapel pastored the congregation through a major cholera outbreak in the Broad Street District just across the river.
Spurgeon writes, “During the epidemic of cholera, though I had many engagements in the country, I gave them up to remain in London to visit the sick and the dying. I felt that it was my duty to be on the spot in such a time of disease, death, and sorrow.” And we might add, fear!
As one writer puts it, “It was not a time for Spurgeon to be an itinerant preacher; this was a time to focus on caring for his church and the community of greater London. He would not shut down or outsource this task, but remain in London to fulfill his duty.”
While the virulence of the Coronavirus has yet to be seen in and around Allegheny County, it is the conviction of the staff and directors of The Blessing Board that meeting the needs of the most vulnerable remain our highest priority. That is why, for the next few weeks, the Executive Director and the Director of Operations, along with some of our staff, will continue to serve needy families of Allegheny County with furniture and household items at both our Oakmont and McKeesport locations. However, a number of significant adjustments have been made to the normal Day of Blessing protocol to insure that the safety of both families served, and those serving them, remains paramount.
The principle reason for not suspending all operations is not only seen in the example of Charles Spurgeon and the church he served during the Cholera epidemic nearly 200 years ago; but the existential realities of those we serve today. Here’s one obvious example of someone that we will be serving before the end of the week.
We received a call from a young woman who is nine months pregnant. While she’s ready to deliver her child in a matter of days, Children and Youth Services (CYS) has informed her that without household furnishings she will not be allowed to take her baby home from the hospital. She said, “…the ONLY thing in my place is a bed for myself and some silverware.” Our goal is to see that mother and baby are together in a home transformed by the love of Jesus Christ operating through The Blessing Board.
This is simply one of the harrowing stories in a sea of need that washes our way every day. At a time of extreme fear and uncertainty, we believe the Lord is calling us to be a tool in the hand of the Master to bind up the brokenhearted and meet the needs of the most easily forgotten among us.
We are asking you, the dear friends and awesome volunteers of The Blessing Board, to pray that the Lord will bless these efforts. We do not wish to expose any of you to the Coronavirus during the next few weeks, but what we do want and need is your continual prayer and financial support. With both we strongly believe that we will emerge from this difficult time with an amazing testimony of God’s provision.
Thanks for standing with us!
The Chairman of the Board
March 17, 2020
We want to update everyone on what is happening here at The Blessing Board. We will continue to post on our website, Facebook and Instagram as modifications are necessary.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
BLESSING BOARD OPERATIONS:
Oakmont – 9:00am – 3:00pm Monday – Friday
McKeesport – 3:00pm – 7:00pm Mondays
Suspended for Days of Blessing
Modified for anything else – check volunteer calendar
Vintage Market – closed until further notice
March 16, 2020
Given the spread of COVID-19, The Blessing Board is taking necessary
steps to safeguard our families, volunteers, staff and community. We are
taking every precaution to stay current with public health guidelines,
to follow best practices for hygiene, and to exercise caution to protect
the most vulnerable.
As of Monday, March 16, 2020, The Blessing Board will modify its Day
of Blessing services, minimize its volunteer hours, limit its
residential pickups and close the Vintage Market. Drop off hours in both
Oakmont and McKeesport will remain the same.
We will continue to monitor the updates provided by the CDC and local
authorities in order to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. We will
reevaluate and modify again as needed to assure the health and safety
of all involved in this ministry. Please check our website and our
social media platforms for updates.
We know that God is sovereign and He is in control. Please join us in praying for His protection and strength as we all weather this storm together.