MANSFIELD -- Mt. Sinai Baptist Church may be a small community parish, but that doesn't stop its members from making a difference.
The church offers a food pantry and clothing giveaway once a month. The clothing program began eight years ago. The pantry started two years later.
“When I first came the church I wanted to make sure we were a church that was doing something to help, not just preaching on Sunday," said Pastor Lawrence Rawls. "People are hurting, people need help.”
Both the food pantry and clothing giveaways take place the third Saturday of each month, year round, from 1 to 3 p.m. The church is located at 275 Grace Street in Mansfield.
The church generally serves at least 30 households a month, but has seen up to 60 in times of more dire need.
Rawls said he expects to see a spike in demand when the state discontinues the extra $300 in federal unemployment benefits on June 26.
The pantry is currently offering pre-prepared boxes of food for health and safety purposes. Visitors can browse through the selection of donated clothes inside the church two or three at a time.
The church sources its food through the Cleveland Food Bank, so households must meet certain income eligibility requirements. The clothing is available to anyone regardless of income.
Rawls said the women of the church make sure clothes are clean, hung and organized for easy browsing.
The church is currently not accepting clothing donations due to a great outpour of community support.
“It’s a decent size church, but we didn’t want the clothes to outrun the church," Rawls said. “Our parishioners donate some, but we’ve been getting a lot of clothes from people who just have a big heart."