Hillsboro UMC community trading post becomes necessity for community


For several years now, the Hillsboro United Methodist Church has operated a Community Trading Post in their building.  Stocking non-perishable food, hygiene items, blankets and clothing for men, women and children, the space operates on a take what you need, share what you can basis.  As the COVID-19 guidelines started, they realized they could no longer safely process clothing, so that part of the operation was temporarily suspended.  Next, as worship was canceled and moved online and group gatherings left the normally bustling building quite empty, they decided to set up a shelf of the most needed food and hygiene items right inside the front door, to limit surface contact.  Even so, visits were down.

Earlier this year, a local Girl Scout in the community approached the church about building a Mini Community Trading Post out in front of the building that could be accessed any time by anyone. It has been used regularly and restocked by both community members and the church.

But in recent days, as the traffic inside the church slowed, the use of the Mini Trading Post outside has exploded. Usually church members restock the mini trading post once or twice a week to supplement what other neighbors bring.
This week, It is being restocked multiple times a day to try to keep up with demand. Both congregation and community members have brought in some generous donations this week to help keep even the most basic of products on the shelf. Soup, beans, pasta, canned meats and fruit, crackers and soap are some of the most used items.

Because the church is located in downtown Hillsboro, where most all the other resources like libraries and city buildings have shut down, the church will stay open as long as they are able. If the day comes that they do have to shut the doors, the Mini Community Trading Post will continue to be stocked, one way or another.