A local church group helps those who have lost a loved one and need help getting back on their feet.

Dan Willms, the pastor at His Church at Sanders, said that his congregation has set up a ‘Widow’s Fund’ that uses money and other donations to support those who have lost a loved one and might be struggling.

The donations are not all financial. Members of the church bring fresh meat and produce to the doors of those who need a helping hand. A lot of the produce is from community members’ gardens, and the meat tends to be wild game donated by local hunters.

“When we first started we were pleasantly surprised by people’s reactions,” Mr Willms said. “This is what a church should be doing. It’s been a positive experience.”

He said that members of the church stop in and check on widows in the area in hopes of adding relief to an already difficult situation. Mr. Willms said that they help about 17 widows who live on Sanders and outside of Tensed.

“We sometimes just want to check in on these people and see how they are doing,” Mr Willms said. “We want to see if there are any needs.”

Sanders resident, Rosie Leach, said that the church really came through for her when she became a widow.

“They visit me about once a month to have an exchange of conversation,” Mrs. Leach said. “Having someone visit at my doorstep is refreshing. Knowing there are people who will be there is very nice.”

She added that the group has brought her food in support.

“The fresh produce in the summertime is nice,” Mrs. Leach said.

Mr. Willms said that on average the fund distributes more food than money, and that the money is saved for those who find themselves struggling to pay bills on their own after losing a loved one.

He said that a large portion of the money they receive for the fund comes from the church’s annual Applefest which nets about $1000 each year. He said the group gets another few hundred dollars throughout the year for the fund.

Donations can be given to Pastor Willms at His Church at Sanders. For more information call 208-820-4574.

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