Church's Aid: From Congregant To Haiti

February 04, 2010|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,

A Baltimore County church's effort to assist one of its own ended up benefiting the victims of the Haiti earthquake, thanks to the generosity of a congregation and a contractor.

The story began early last month, when a member of the White Marsh Baptist Church visited a fellow member to drop off some reading materials. The elderly woman answered the door in a heavy coat and hat. She explained that she needed to dress in layers, since her furnace had stopped working three years earlier.

The church's pastor, the Rev. Fred Dyer, asked Perry Hall Heating and Air Conditioning Co. for an estimate on a new system. The cost would be about $3,300.

During services the next Sunday, Dyer related the woman's plight to his congregation, typically about 300 worshippers, and asked for help. In one collection, members donated the entire cost of the installation, said the Rev. Herb Pace, associate pastor.

"That really floored me," said Peter Pac, owner of the heating business.

The contractor installed the equipment the day after the disaster struck Haiti.

"We knew we wanted to do something for the people in Haiti, so we told the church to send the money there," Pac said. "We are all blessed here, even those of us in the worst situations."

The home has a new heat pump, and Baptist Global Response has $3,300 to help address the crisis in Haiti.

"We know that 100 percent of the money we collected went right to our mission in Haiti," Pace said. "We gave to help with a small disaster here, and it ended up helping a much larger one there."

Dyer said he has been sharing this story, "hoping to touch some other hearts. I was grateful our church responded in this way and how magnanimous the contractor was," he said.

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