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Matthew Ministry provides free clothing for the needy

July 20, 2019

CORBIN, Ky. (AP) — For nearly 20 years, one Corbin woman has faithfully helped to clothe the community, volunteering countless hours of service.

Cheryl Robinson spends much of her time in a small old house on the corner of Fourth and Poplar Streets, across from Central Baptist Church in Corbin. If you drive by the old home you’re likely to see bags or boxes of clothing sitting on the home’s front porch. Those bags and boxes are filled with everything from men’s jeans, coats, swimsuits and women’s scrubs.

The Matthew Ministry of Central Baptist Church provides clothing for anyone ages 5 and up. Anyone desiring assistance from the ministry is welcomed to visit the center on Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon. And Robinson, who’s been serving in the ministry for almost 20 years, said it’s that easy, there’s no questions asked.

The items inside the house are as she puts it, for anyone who needs it. There is no charge for anything in the ministry, and almost everything has been donated.

“When anyone thanks me I say don’t thank me, thank God,” Robinson said. “If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t be in here. We’re just his little hands and feet that are down here doing his work.”

The ministry is based on the bible’s book of Matthew, specifically 25:36 that reads, “I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.”

When she started volunteering in the ministry, she was one of the younger volunteers, but as time has moved along she’s now one of the only ones left, and she admits on her next birthday she will turn 70.

The ministry was started by the youth of the church, according to Robinson. She said the group of teens first started the clothing ministry in a room in the church’s basement. It was just a bunch of old clothes piled up when Robinson first got involved.

“It mostly started for kids that were coming to church that didn’t have proper clothes,” Robinson noted. “But then Peggy Ballou Bullock asked if I knew of someone who could take the clothing ministry over.”

Robinson said she knew what that meant — it meant her.

So after answering the call, Robinson, along with her mom, Granny Ruth Meadors, and a few other women started clothing the community out of an old house on Fourth Street. And now, almost 20 years later, when someone has a clothing need they are often times referred to the Matthew Ministry.

Granny Ruth was a devoted Christian and long-time member of Central Baptist Church. She was a Sunday school teacher and faithful member of the Mathew Ministry, and there’s no denying how much she meant to Robinson. Her picture hangs in the home of the Matthew Ministry along with several of crafts. When talking about the ministry it’s hard for Robinson not to repeatedly bring up Granny Ruth.

When she passed, rather than flowers she asked that donations be made in her honor to the Matthew Ministry at Central Baptist Church.

In nearly 20 years Robinson said there’s been a few times she’s felt like giving up but then she feels like God keeps leading her to volunteer. And of all the people she’s helped, the homeless stay close to heart. In fact when the Times-Tribune was interviewing Robinson, two individuals in need came by the house and she stopped the interview to help them find what they needed, going above and beyond.

Robinson said it’s not unusual for people to cry on her, but it’s the homeless that trigger her emotions.

A large portion of what Robinson sees in the ministry is grandparents helping to raise their grandchildren coming in for assistance. She said it warms her heart knowing she can be there to help.

“When you need it the Lord provides it,” Robinson said. “So we don’t worry about it.”

Robinson works tirelessly trying to keep everything sized and organized, often times staying well into the night. She volunteered and almost never missed a day even through a battle with cancer and a knee replacement.

When asked why she doesn’t slow down or even just give it up she said it’s because the Lord’s called her to help.

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Information from: The Times-Tribune, http://www.thetimestribune.com

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