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Monday, August 30, 2010

Church's "Undie Sunday" a Success

What a great idea for an outreach ministry! I wonder if Shepherd's Heart would benefit with something like this for their ministry to the homeless of Pittsburgh?

From via the Hartford CT Courant.

MANCHESTER, Conn. - At first, the idea of "Undie Sunday" unsettled some members of St. Mary's Episcopal Church.

Tighty-whiteys and the Lord's house, after all, are not a natural fit.

"Some of the older people were saying, 'How can you talk about underwear in church?' - but once they realized there was such a need, everyone got around it," church member and collection organizer Lelia Druzdis said Tuesday.

Billed as "a project we can get behind," the collection of new briefs, boxers and panties took off, and laundry baskets in the church narthex quickly filled. By the end of July, St. Mary's members had collected about 1,200 pairs of underwear for homeless and needy men, women and children, Druzdis said. People also gave other items, including bras, and the Manchester BJ's Wholesale Club and Target store donated gift cards.

At the annual Cruisin' on Main event on Aug. 1, the church - touting the theme "What's under the hood?" - made a high-profile handover to Manchester Area Conference of Churches Charities.

"There was a lot of visibility of underwear that day," said Jacki Campion, MACC Charities director of volunteer and community services.

The idea for the collection sprang from St. Mary's outreach committee, which Druzdis co-chairs. She said she contacted MACC officials and found there was a constant need among clients for fresh underwear.

"People who come to the shelter often have just what they have on their backs," Campion said.

Also, customers of MACC's food pantry often need underwear, especially for their children, she said.

"It was an out-of-the-box project," Campion said. "It's not something you would normally think about, but it was something that we really could use."

The response was so positive, Druzdis said, that church members have decided to make Undie Sunday an annual event.

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