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Columbia, MD  21045
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Hamburg’s Community Service Center Becomes Reality

By Tamyra Horst

For 30 years Pennsylvania’s Hamburg Community church members Bob and Bea Hayes envisioned a building that would be totally devoted to community services. Their dream was realized recently with the dedication and ribbon cutting of the church’s community services center.

Bea is the church’s Adventist Community Services director. Before the new building, every week she and her husband had to set up and take down for the weekly clothing distribution, previously held in the church’s fellowship hall. Their food pantry closet also doubled as a church storage closet. Last year they provided more than 67,800 pounds of food for local families, with volunteers logging more than 4,000 hours sorting donations. Hayes believes the new building will allow them to help even more families.

More than 250 people gathered for the ceremony, which took place amidst wind gusts and tornado warnings. Ray Hartwell, conference president, gave a prayer of dedication. Jeannette Dare, Adventist Community Services director for the conference, presented lifetime service awards to the Hayes for their unfailing loyalty to community services. Doors to the new center were officially open after a ribbon cutting by Dare, the Hayes, Pastor Alex DuBee, and Roy Del Rosario, mayor of Hamburg. Tilden Township supervisors Gene Schappell and Judy Romig, and Dennis Schwoyer, Tilden Township’s chief of police, were also on hand for the celebration.

Construction for the new center, located in a 40-by-70 building (left) on the far end of the church parking lot, began last fall and was completed by June.

Thirty volunteers spend two mornings a week sorting the clothing and household items dropped off 24 hours a day, seven days a week at a shed next to the building. Community members donate most of the items. The center is open Mondays and Tuesdays, 1-7 p.m., and typically serves 60-75 families a week in need of clothing, toys and household items. A food pantry ministers to 100-125 families the third Sunday of each month.