DRYDEN — The Linked Hearts Ministry has marked their one year anniversary and what a year it's been.
Linked Hearts board secretary Ada Jarmosevich said they've been "blown away" by the community support they've received.
"We mention a need and God sends someone," Jarmosevich said.
"It's literally 'ask and you shall receive.'"
Linked Hearts helps close to 80 people through their food pantry. Donations from the community are always welcome. photo by Maria Brown.
The group of volunteers from six area churches operates out of the former Milliken Lumber office on Dryden Road where they collect and distribute food, toiletries, clothing, shelter and utility bill assistance and emergency services.
Since opening, they've expanded their food pantry in size and with a Thrivent donation, were able to purchase a refrigerator and freezer.
They presently serve 79 people each month through their food pantry and have applied to receive their second year's worth of government grant monies to help people pay their utilities and other bills.
They're making plans to bundle up 70 Easter dinners for local families in need.
"We have wonderful volunteers...both here and behind the scenes," she said.
Jarmosevich said the local businesses have been supportive too. Around Christmas, many participated in a paper ornament sale for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. Donations totalled $1,049 which Linked Hearts can use as credit to purchase food through the bank. About $600 of that money came from Oxford Bank and their customers alone.
"The need is increasing and we see it all the time," Jarmosevich said. At present, Linked Hearts can only serve people in the immediate Dryden area and members of the participating churches—Holy Redeemer Lutheran, St. Cornelius Catholic, St. John's Episcopal, Dryden United Methodist, Dryden Wesleyan and Light of Christ.
In an effort to better serve the community, Linked Hearts will be expanding their hours starting in March. They'll be open from 12-4 p.m. on Mondays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.
For more information, call Linked Hearts at 796-3407.
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.