Erin church seeking donations as it helps those in need during COVID-19

ERIN – How does a church that focusses on community engagement remain socially engaged during a time of social distancing?

It turns to social media – and the kindness of strangers.

“We had to do something,” said Shawn Hannah, a member of Erin Village Alliance Church in a phone interview. “Everything is shut down and we want to help our community.”

After its last service on March 15, the congregation decided to collect food and distribute it to folks who can’t get out during the COVID-19 crisis.

They have set up a donation bin behind the church, located at East Church and Main Street in Erin (the historic Burns Church) and volunteers will collect, sort and deliver food and other items to people who need them.

They want to hear from people with items to donate and people who need the items. They will take care of the rest, Hannah said.

“If you need something, let us know. If you want to help, we can coordinate that. If you want us to pray, we can do that too,” he said.

Because of social distancing initiatives, church members can no longer gather in the church for services.

“We’re moving online with a YouTube channel,” Hannah said. “But a big part of what we do is community and we still want to serve our community.”

The “doorstep” deliveries will be made following all public health guidelines and social distancing recommendations, he said.

Hannah said he knows of one family who has been travelling abroad and who will have to self-isolate for two weeks when they return.

“They have no family here. Who is going to look after them for 14 days? Well, we are,” Hannah said.

You don’t have to be a church member to participate, Hannah said. Anyone who needs help, and anyone who wants to help, is welcome, he said.

And any leftover items that aren’t used, will be donated to the East Wellington Community Services food bank, he said.

For folks who want to donate money, there’s a “give” button on their website for that purpose. For more information or to reach a person, visit or call 519-833-7114.