• Leigh Gerstenberger

Ministry Helps Families De-clutter

Updated: Sep 20, 2018



My wife and I have been involved at Orchard Hill Church (OHC) in the North Hills

of Pittsburgh for over 30 years.


While OHC sponsors a number of unique ministries that serve the community,

one in particular came to my attention recently that I thought I’d share in the

hope that it might inspire other churches around the country to adopt something

similar and/or raise the awareness of folks in western Pennsylvania about this

unique service in the event that it might be helpful to them, their family or

friends.


The STUF (Serving To Unclutter Families) ministry at OHC just celebrated its

second anniversary and after 2 years it continues to evolve. STUF helps elderly

folks downsize and/or their kids clean out mom and dad’s home after they’ve

passed away.


In Pittsburgh STUF partners with The Blessing Board https://blessingboard.org/ a

faith-based non-profit that serves as a “furniture bank” recycling household items

to other families in need. Additionally, STUF has contacts at a wide variety of

other non-profits (Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.) They are aware of and in touch

with a wide variety of organizations and individuals and know how to dispose of

just about anything. We’re not just talking about difficult to recycle items like

appliances, computers and televisions that no longer work. One of the most

interesting stories I heard recently was how they got rid of cans of vegetables that

had been found in “grandma’s pantry”. Using Craig’s List and a bit of creative

writing, they found a local pig farmer who couldn’t wait to take the stale dated,

but still nutritious legumes of their hands for his livestock. Now that’s creative

recycling! In short, after two years at this, STUF can dispose of almost anything.

Usually there is little or no charge for their services however many clients, if able,

often contribute financially to the church’s ELEOS Ministry to show their

appreciation.


Should you wish to learn more about STUF personally or find out how to start a

similar program in your community or at your place of worship feel free to

connect with Pastor Ken Gryger kgryger@orchardhillchurch.com or the program

manager JoAnn King joannking46@gmail.com.

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