NE Supper House became a family affair for the Verberg family last Christmas season. Rachel and Scott Verberg and their boys Seth, 15, Caleb, 13 and Seth, 7, served community members for the special holiday meal.

Rachel said the experience was a meaningful one for her family and they want to do it again.

“It teaches them empathy and to look outside themselves to serve others,” Rachel said.

After the worst of the pandemic, Rachel was looking for an opportunity to get involved in the community and reached out to NECM. Currently she helps Lois Oomkes, NE Supper House Co-coordinator, and is starting to fill in for her when she needs a night off. She checks in with Lois each week to see what her needs are, helps in the kitchens, serves food and cleans. She works with a team of volunteers typically a group of church members.

“The volunteers are so amazing. It feels like things run so smoothly. The goal is to bless each other and serve each other,” Rachel said.

She likes that Supper House brings people together and gives people in the community a sense of belonging with opportunities for everybody to contribute.

“We really see people building relationships and friendships with each other,” Rachel said.

She appreciates that Supper House and NECM’s food pantry meet practical and immediate needs of community members. Feeding community members or giving them food for the week, “right now in our country that means something.”

Rachel is also one of the Thursday volunteers at NECM’s food pantry. She enjoys working with the same group of volunteers.

“I’m just making so many friends who have the common goal of working together to serve the community,” Rachel said. She helps get deliveries from different places in the city, stocks shelves, helps clients shop and other chores to keep the pantry going.

She encourages anyone looking to get involved in the community to see if NECM is a good fit for them.

“It’s an important part of my life now and I look forward to it,” Rachel said.