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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Recycling as ministry

In this town, garage sales are unnecessary

Salem Lutheran Church, located in the tiny community of Deerwood, Minn., discovered how to give back in a big way.

Greg Meyer stocks the shelves at Salem
Greg Meyer stocks the shelves at Salem West, a community outreach ministry of Salem Lutheran Church, Deerwood, Minn. The need for such a ministry has doubled in recent months.
Though situated in the resort-rich lake country of central Minnesota, high incidences of domestic abuse and joblessness have left many of Deerwood’s residents struggling. So in 1993, Salem West, the church’s community outreach ministry, began accepting donations of household items, clothing and furniture from parishioners and distributing them to victims of domestic abuse, families facing unemployment and recently released prisoners.

“We just started by filling some basic community needs — baby clothes — that sort of thing,” said Greg Meyer, the group’s director of community outreach.


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