5:09 PM / Saturday February 4, 2023

30 Nov 2018

Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church started its season of giving by making Thanksgiving brighter for women whose days aren’t always bright.

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November 30, 2018 Category: Oasis Posted by:

By Arlene Edmonds


During the 2018 holiday season, many houses of worship celebrate the philanthropic spirit by holding Thanksgiving and Christmas drives, hosting meals for the community, giving out toys and other presents to the needy. Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church is no different, and extends its giving spirit throughout the calendar year.

That was never more evident than when about a dozen volunteers ensured that the women who frequent the New Day Women’s Drop-In Center in Kensington had a full-course, sit-down Thanksgiving dinner. Enon Tabernacle’s first lady, Dr. Ellyn Jo Waller, was one of the runners who took the plates from the rear kitchen to the dining room or front lobby for the few “to-go” platters.

The dinner featured cafeteria-style warming trays of turkey, ham, chicken, yams, macaroni and cheese and greens topped off with assorted desserts and a side salad.

For one of the servers, Judy Horsey, this is just part of what she does on a regular basis as a member of the Enon’s outreach ministry. She can be found at the Kensington Avenue center with many of her church sisters throughout the year. Feeding and serving these women is a daily, weekly and monthly notation on the calendar of many Enon volunteers.

“The Lord just touched my heart to reach out to the people who come to this center,” Horsey said. “It gives [me] great joy to do what I can. I have been serving here for quite a while, three or four years. We get training through the Salvation Army and then we can volunteer on the nights the center is open late. I am blessed to be able to be a blessing to these women. They also bless me.”

Cynthia Holt could be found serving food alongside Crystal Waller and newer volunteer Sherri Irvis-Hill . They helped by handing plates to the church’s first lady. 

“I am usually volunteering here every month. These women really appreciate what we do for them,” Holt said.

“All the women here are our sisters,” said Irvis-Hill, who joined Enon a year ago. “God led me to do this because I learn from them. I was also impressed with the work that Sister Waller is doing showing her dedication to this ministry to women. Now I feel called to help.”

Dr. Waller said that women in recovery from drugs, human trafficking and other crisis situations need safe havens. Since many are homeless, they welcome a drop-in center where they can be fed, take a shower, and have a temporary refuge. On Thanksgiving Eve, some were picking up platters for their children and others inquired about the winter clothing drive. Waller said that this would be one of their final drives for 2018.

She further mentioned that when they participate in the drives or volunteer at the center during the holiday season, one need not be an Enon member or a regular at the drop-in center to get serviced. Waller pointed out that many of the plates she was carrying were for homeless or other persons, including men, who wanted to get a Thanksgiving platter.

“This center is a blessing,” a 30-year old woman who frequents the drop-in center said. “What I like is that the volunteers do not look down on you. When they say ‘she’s my sister’, they mean it. They treat you as if you matter. Any of us could fall on hard times, and I get the impression that these volunteers remember that.”

It was also noted that since the weather has gotten colder, many who are recovering, homeless or living in poverty are in need of numerous essentials. Among these are underwear, particularly larger sizes, socks, shoes and boots, sweatsuits, sweaters, coats, and many leggings. They also need toiletries ranging from soap and body wash to lotion and hair products.

Those wishing to donate to this drive can take them to the Salvation Army of Philadelphia Center, 4050 Conshohocken Ave. during normal business hours from 9AM to 5PM.. They can also arrange appointments for after-hour drop offs by calling 215-825-460l.

Additionally, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church occasionally makes drops to the West Philadelphia center, but one should call the church to find out the hours for these drop offs. Since Enon would have to get volunteers to make the drop, it would be a more expedient process to deliver the items to the Conshohocken Avenue location. Enon can be reached at 215-276-7200 and ask for Frances Stewart.

The Salvation Army’s New Day Women’s Drop-In Center is located at 2843 Kensington Ave. They have daytime hours as well as evening hours once or twice a week. For more information, call 267-886-8395 or email them at [email protected]

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