From school board to board member, Bev Henry finds new purpose in life with Lebanon County Christian Ministries
Board member and secretary Bev Henry found a new purpose in life with Lebanon County Christian Ministries after retiring from over 25 years of teaching.
After teaching first grade and later taking on a reading support role within the education system, Henry has taken on a new role in helping provide care to the homeless and those in need at LCCM. Henry always liked to be involved in helping others and was an active participant in her church during her years of educating. Once it came time to retire, she began looking for places where she could volunteer to help the community around her.
“I just decided that LCCM was a good place to volunteer because they provided food for others and shelter. Our church had helped with the homeless shelter and we hosted them when we were larger.”
Henry joined the LCCM board about four years ago after an invitation from a friend who was a current board member. As a board member, Henry is more involved than ever as she helps to organize fundraisers and continues to serve noon meals. She still actively participates in her church and even though the group is no longer large enough to host LCCM guests overnight, they are dedicated to preparing and serving a noon meal once a month.
Throughout her time at LCCM, she has been impacted by the number of people in the community that are in poverty or are in need. While thinking about the number of people she sees come through the organization, she reflected on how thankful she is for everything she’s been given throughout her life.
“I’m so thankful for the kinds of things and the family that I have. I grew up and I thought about these people and why are they in this position and what can we do to help them to better their lives.”
While serving noon meal at the end of January, Henry saw roughly 100 individuals and families come through for food. She explained that the biggest impact on her has been seeing how appreciative the guests are when they receive their meal, and she wishes more people knew about the services LCCM offers.
“Sometimes I’m surprised. You know, I thought that everyone knew about LCCM. Sometimes I’m surprised that people don’t know about it and know what we do.”
Henry believes that one of the biggest issues that Lebanon County faces is a lack of awareness for the issue of homelessness around them. She emphasized that people don’t realize that all it takes for someone to become homeless is an emergency that hinders one’s ability to work or drains their savings. Henry’s work at LCCM is a small part of the organization’s mission to address this larger issue within the community.
Written by Megan Finlan, Lebanon Valley College
Lebanon County Christian Ministries is working in conjunction with Lebanon Valley College students to tell the story of LCCM through the lens of its volunteers, guests, staff and board throughout the season of Lent.