The Holy Cross Lutheran Church of Everett’s motto is “Reflecting God’s Love Through a Caring Community,” Pastor Susan Kirlin-Hackett is doing just that. Every fourth Tuesday of the month Holy Cross Lutheran hosts a free dinner that serves 100 to 140 local homeless and low income residents.
The dinner is held at the Salvation Army in Everett at 2525 Rucker Ave. The whole operation lasts from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Volunteers set up for guests, prep, cook the food, serve and clean up afterwards. Volunteers include Holy Cross Lutheran members including High School students and friends of the congregation.
Holy Cross Lutheran has been hosting dinners for over three and a half years at the Salvation Army. The partnership began when a member of the church, Laura Brady, heard about the program at a Kiwanis meeting. She brought the information back to fellow Holy Cross Lutheran members Eric Hedges and Bertha Holeman.
“With their support and enthusiasm the congregation’s involvement began to grow,” Pastor Kirlin-Hackett said.
The food for these events comes from around the Lake Stevens community. Albertson’s and Haggens are the biggest contributers and use this as an opportunity to reach out to their community. Holy Cross Lutheran takes a cash offering for supplies and also donates food like sandwiches, homemade desserts and staple items.
“We have a few members that make homemade soup to bring down to the Salvation Army,” Jan Tilly, Holy Cross Lutheran member, and Salvation Army volunteer said. Tilly, along with her late husband, used to run the Lake Stevens Food Bank. She continues to be an active member of the community.
“I feel like this is what I am meant to do, help people,” Tilly said about her volunteer work.
Holy Cross Lutheran also hosts a weekly meal with Neighbors Who Care, formerly known as Tailgate Ministries, on the fourth Tuesday of the month. NWC is a local program that reaches out to the homeless community. They feed about 130 people three times a week with help from the community and churches like Holy Cross Lutheran.
“The congregation is saddened and humbled at the enormity of the need in our community. Hosting the meal has brought joy for the opportunity to serve God in work and deed,” Kirlin-Hackett said.
The Salvation Army and Neighbors Who Care are always looking for volunteers and donations.
“Because meals are served Monday, Tuesday and Thursday we are always looking for help. Especially now, in this time of need,” Tilly said.
If you want to volunteer or make a donation please contact one of the local organizations listed in the information box included with this story.