The month of March marks Serve Moses Lake’s annual Non-Food Pantry Drive. The drive began in 2008, when SML first opened its doors. In the past, churches have run their own drives independently to give to the non-food pantry, but 2018 is the first community-wide drive in our history. An irreplaceable cog in the non-food pantry wheel is named Rose Butler.
Rose, a church member of Sendero Life Center, has kind eyes and a quick smile. She has been involved in the non-food pantry for three years. At the beginning, the non-food pantry was merely one thing on a list of duties for Rose’s position as a volunteer secretary at her church. Very quickly, however, Rose found that the non-food pantry fit who she was and what she was most passionate about. In only a few moments of conversing with her, it becomes quite clear that Rose is very personally invested in the success and upkeep of the non-food pantry.
Though it offers a great gift to our community members in need, the pantry is rarely, if ever, full. One of the most common challenges the pantry faces is a lack of some commonly needed items: things like dish soap, laundry detergent, and paper towels. Though these items are a common need, they are rarely available in the non-food pantry. When Rose walks into the pantry and sees shelves becoming increasingly bare, she prays, “Lord, supply and touch hearts.” In addition to this obstacle, there is another: location. Sendero Life Center is located on the peninsula, and this commonly presents a problem to people without transportation. Rose can often be seen bringing items to the Serve Moses Lake office for those who will have an easier time getting there, and she even delivers items directly to a needy person’s doorstep when the situation calls for it.
Although Rose finds herself on the giving end of these interactions, she speaks far more of the blessings she has received through her work in the non-food pantry. Rose has loved getting to meet people from all walks of life and having the opportunity to share Christ with them. Although Rose has never experienced homelessness, she shared that she can empathize deeply with those in need. Rose was a widow for 30 years, and she knows what it’s like to come to the end of the month and find resources dwindling. Because of her experience, Rose can confidently share the love of Jesus with others in need. “The biggest blessing is being able to share with them that God provides,” Rose said. “God is the source. We’re just the hands and feet, but He’s the miracle maker.”
To anyone considering donating to the non-food drive, “Follow your heart. You can never outgive God. When you’re giving, give it as unto the Lord,” Rose said. “The Word says, what we do unto the least of these we do it as unto Him. When we do it as unto Him, it’s such a blessing. Our reward is in Heaven.” It may be difficult to imagine how something seemingly small, like a bottle of dish soap, can have any impact of lasting importance. However, Rose emphasized again and again the immense gratitude of the recipients of such simple items. When she is able to place the needed items into the hands of someone with a great need, she is “hoping that they feel, not [Rose’s] touch, but God’s touch in their lives.”
In addition to handing out items, Rose prays with those who come to the pantry and encourages them to stay connected with their church or find one if they don’t have a home church. Sendero Life Center, along with 25 other local churches, works closely with Serve Moses Lake to meet the needs of community members. “I always tell [people who come to the pantry in need], ‘remember, this is the beginning of your miracle,’” Rose said. “Serve Moses Lake is that beginning. It’s not the person and it’s not the items; it’s that functioning part that makes it happen. It’s just the beginning.”
SML is blessed to be partnered with Rose and others like her. For information about needed items for the drive and where to take donations, please visit our website www.servemoseslake.org