Sorting’s Mini Miracles

by | Dec 11, 2019 | Notes from the Executive Director

What is it like to be a volunteer in Sorting? According to Tim Buist, who has been sorting for almost one year, “You are the first impression to donors!” After a smiling greeting, unloading, and shaking hands, the sorting team unpacks the donations and decides if the items should stay at Love INC or be shared with a partner ministry. Then the sorting team packs them into boxes and saves them for when the store needs a restock on clothing, computers, or other items. According to Patrick McAvoy, the Warehouse Manager, “The team knows how to have fun and joke around!”

The sorting team shows that serving, even in what feels like small quantities is crucial to further God’s Kingdom. Tim states, “If you’re doing it to honor God, no task is unimportant.” It’s also important to view the sorting ministry as a chance to interact with those who are willing to bless Love INC with their donations. The donations we receive are a blessing that fill needs; volunteering as a sorter helps to remind us to thank walk-up donors who give gently used, or sometimes even brand new items.

Working in Sorting is a crucial part of the Love INC ministry, but it can also be one of the most challenging. It can be difficult to see the practical effects of the work that volunteers in Sorting, like Tim, have on the community. However, it is surprisingly tangible. Tim told me a story, of how he went to greet someone bringing in donations from a parent that had recently passed away. These boxes were carefully packed, and full of memories- “like remembering the last time they wore that shirt, or when you bought them that trinket,” says Tim. Sorters share a smile and help to share the grief that some donors carry through the warehouse doors with them. Sorters also get the privilege to share joy with people, especially when we are able to meet specific needs by God’s grace. Patrick shared a story where, “we received the donation of a Hoyer lift,” which is a very specific piece of medical equipment that Love INC infrequently receives. Patrick continues, “That very same day, someone came in searching for a Hoyer lift and we were able to give it to them.” Stories like these show God’s faithfulness in allowing Love INC to be the hands and feet of Jesus that provide daily miracles for people in the community.

When Tim started volunteering, he wasn’t sure if he would like it. “I’ll give it a year,” he said. Now, he loves working with a team who is equally concerned with giving and ministering to each other. He talked about how he saw God move in his own life by watching his relationships with other people grow through serving alongside them. “It’s important to just try sorting,” says Tim. “What you do physically makes a spiritual impact that you may not see, but your physical act of service allows it to take place.”