Founded in 1910 by United Methodist Women, InterServ has been serving the St. Joseph area for 111 years. First as a response to lack of nutrition in immigrants working in packing plants, the women opened a milk pantry which has evolved into the food pantry they have today. They also noticed a lot of women were working in packing plants, so they opened a daycare, which remains today. Staff member, Stacy, says that through the years InterServ has been looked at as an agency able to make change. They can look at the community, see what the need is, and fill the gaps. Along with the food pantry and daycare, InterServ also provides services such as in home and nutrition services for seniors, counseling, budget management, and youth after school programs.
In 2019 we encouraged United Methodist churches in Missouri to bring pieces of fleece to our Annual Conference meeting in Springfield. We had a mountain of fleece by the time the weekend was over. This was such a blessing for the rest of the year. We had a group of youth come in and prep the fleece- align two pieces, trim, roll, and bag them- to go to the Sharefests. At the Sharefests, small groups of people gathered around tables to finish the blankets by cutting and tying the fringe. This project was adored by many as it could be done while sitting down, didn't require heavy lifting, and offered the chance for people to have conversation while they were making something meaningful.
We still have groups and individuals who like making the fleece blankets, and we say go for it! The requests for blankets from agencies usually surpasses what we are able to collect. If you're looking for a relatively easy project you can do at home or in a small group, fleece blankets might be a good option for you. Below are some directions on how to make the blankets. Feel free to send us pictures or tag us on Facebook while you're making one!
Exploring the past and the present of Festival of Sharing.