COVID-19 Updates

May 18, 2020

Please carefully review the information below regarding The Blessing Board reopening its doors in both Oakmont and McKeesport.

Drop-offs in Oakmont

Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00am – 3:00pm

  • Please do not bring items to our warehouse if you or someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Please bring all your small donations in bags or boxes – no loose items.
  • Please wear masks and gloves when you come to drop-off your furniture and household items.
  • Ring the bell at door #3 and someone will come to assist you.
  • Please maintain safe social-distancing at all times.
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available.
  • The Blessing Board staff and volunteers will bring everything inside the building.
  • Donations will be held in quarantine for 72 hours.

Drop-offs in McKeesport

Opening Date: June 1, 2020

Hours:  Monday – Thursday 9:00am – 1:00pm

  • Please do not bring items to our warehouse if you or someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Please bring all your small donations in bags or boxes – no loose items.
  • Please wear masks and gloves when you come to drop-off your furniture and household items.
  • Ring the bell at the back door and someone will come to assist you.
  • Please maintain safe social-distancing at all times.
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available.
  • The Blessing Board staff and volunteers will bring everything inside the building.
  • Donations will be held in quarantine for 72 hours.

Residential Pick-ups 

  • Please do not make arrangements for a pick-up if you are anyone in your household tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Will begin June 1, 2020.
  • At this time, our drivers cannot enter the home.
  • Specific pick-up arrangements must be made through our donations coordinator.
  • Drivers are required to wear masks and gloves
  • We ask that residents wear masks and gloves and maintain safe social-distancing during interaction.
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available. 

Appointments for Receiving Furniture

  • Our appointment coordinators are currently attempting to reschedule clients who had appointments prior to the shutdown.
  • We will announce the reopening of our phone line for new appointments as soon as we are able to schedule new clients.
  • Until further notice, families will only be served out of our McKeesport location.

Day of Blessing Appointments

Appointments will begin June 1, 2020

  • Please do not come to The Blessing  Board as a client or as a volunteer if you are anyone in your household tested positive for COVID-19.
  • We will begin serving clients at the McKeesport location only.
  • All items for client’s choosing will have been held in quarantine for at least 72 hours.
  • Both volunteers and clients will be required to wear masks and gloves.
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available.
  • Only one family will be served at a time with as few volunteers as possible
  • Families will be served on the half-hour on week days between 10:00am – 12:00pm

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Please do not come to The Blessing  Board as a volunteer if you are anyone in your household tested positive for COVID-19.
  • McKeesport – you must contact Linda Cubakovic prior to volunteering at this time. Please do not come to The Blessing Board without making arrangements in advance.
  • Oakmont – the sorting room will reopen, but volunteering must be arranged through Diane Brown. We will have no more than six sorting room volunteers at one time in the warehouse. 
  • Whenever volunteering at either location, volunteers must wear masks and gloves
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available.

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. 

Gratefully,

Rich Garland

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. 

Gratefully,

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:

Pick-Ups
As scheduled

Drop-Off Hours
Oakmont – 9:00am – 3:00pm Monday – Friday
McKeesport – 3:00pm – 7:00pm Mondays

Volunteer Opportunities
Suspended for Days of Blessing
Modified for anything else – check volunteer calendar

Vintage Market – closed until further notice

Donate
https://blessingboard.org/ways-to-give/

Questions
Email director@theblessingboard.org

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.

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