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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Blessing bags help homeless

Both the Berlin Police Department and the Buckingham Presbyterian Church were giving out “Blessing Bags” for people in need.

By Paige Mallory Passman, Staff Writer

(Aug 2. 2018) Buckingham Presbyterian Church in Berlin is helping those is need by providing them with “Blessing Bags.”

The idea of the “Blessing Bags” came after Rev. Matthew Trask had passed away from effects of Type 1 Diabetes, according to Karla Davis, member of the Buckingham Presbyterian Church.

Shortly after Rev. Trask’s death, Carol Neal, of Buckingham’s Mission Committee, happened to be at the annual New Castle Beach Retreat in Ocean City where the Spark Missional Ministry Grants was announced, Davis said.

“In efforts to encourage and support the missional ministry of each congregation, a one-time grant of $5,000 was to be given to each and every congregation and worshipping community in the Presbytery,” Davis said. “Hearing this, Ms. Neal began reaching out to the members of Buckingham Presbyterian Church Mission Committee and the congregation for suggestions on how we could be ‘bold’ in our community and ‘ignite’ our own congregation to help.”

The Mission Committee called the directors of the homeless shelters in Worcester County – Diakonia in West Ocean City and The Samaritans Shelter in Pocomoke City – to see if they were in need of some “Blessing Bag,” Davis said.

The bags contain bottled water, hand sanitizer, wash cloth, First Aid kit, toothbrush, toothpaste and soap.

Arnold Downing, chief of the Berlin Police Department, and the Buckingham Presbyterian Church have distributed 50 bags so far. Distribution began on June 26.

“We see people actually living in the woods, so we see people at their worst,” Downing said. “In the world that we live in today, we have people who have distrust in the police and they have some issues with officers. Not only does that individual get to change the view of us as a group, but then as individuals as well.”

For more information, contact the Berlin Police Department at 410-641-1333.