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Sharing God’s love in the community

Posted: March 16 2023 at 02:18 PM
Author: Pastor Donna Hoffman

Hannover Gifts

Members of Hanover UMC pose after the handwork of assembling love baskets

At Hanover UMC, several church members and leaders gathered to assemble Valentine’s baskets to deliver to folks in Hanover, Ill. The baskets contain fresh fruit, home-baked goods, and various snack items.

About 25 years ago, the Hanover United Methodist Women decided that since so many were remembered at Christmas time and then "forgotten" the rest of the year that we would do "Valentine Love Baskets" in February. The list of those receiving baskets includes those who are home-bound, the elderly, those who have lost loved ones in the past year, some of our church members in the nursing home, and assisted living in Elizabeth. Gift baskets are given out to those in need, not just members of our church community.

They took a two-year break due to Covid and felt the urge to do this again. I was amazed at the precision with which the members worked at putting these baskets together. Like a well-oiled machine, each person has a job, from baking, shopping for the other food items, ordering pretty red paper to wrap the baskets, and making heart-shaped name tags for each basket. At the church, we all pitched in wrapping, tying, and tagging the baskets. About twenty baskets were assembled in about an hour. After they were assembled, we divided up geographically to deliver the baskets. I rode along with our Lay Leader, John McKinley. As I took each basket to the door, the look of joy, surprise and gratitude was a huge blessing to me.

The Hanover UMC is a small rural church with primarily older members who are still very active in ministry. They are very mission-focused, and they truly are the hands, feet and heart of Jesus.

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