The Baptist Church on Main Street Binghamton distributes children’s winter clothes in public

Members of Main Street Baptist Church in Binghamton are working hard to make sure everyone stays warm this winter, including schoolchildren nearby and those who walk in front of the church daily.

“God has been so good to us as individuals and as a church,” said Church member Diane Runyon, of Binghamton. “It instills that desire to help people.”

Runyon serves as head of church missions, which coordinates two projects designed to protect people from the cold this winter. Church members collect socks and underwear for pupils at nearby Horace Mann Elementary School on College Street. They also collect hats, gloves and scarves and hang them outside the church so that passers-by in need can take them. She said some church members sewed the items themselves.

Runyon said the main Baptist church is on the west side of town in a neighborhood that has seen better days.

“This is a rather bleak area here,” she said. “There is a great need.”

Runyon said this is the second winter in a row that the church has been sponsoring the distribution of winter clothing.

“It was very successful last year,” she said. “People have really benefited from that.”

Diane Runion hangs a sash outside her church: Main Street Baptist Church in Binghamton #x002019;  s West Side.  Church members donate scarves, hats, and gloves to anyone who needs them.

Diane Runyon hangs a sash outside her church: The Baptist Church on Main Street on the West Side of Binghamton. Church members donate scarves, hats, and gloves to anyone who needs them.

Each item is wrapped in a plastic bag to protect it from snow, rain or frost. Inside each bag is a message from church members: “Stay warm. Main Street Baptist Church.” Items are hung outside the church and secured with clothespins so they don’t blow away.

Anyone who needs winter clothing can take an item. Sometimes all the items disappear in a few hours or the next day, Runyon said.

Runyon said that in addition to the winter clothing campaign, the church is also organizing a campaign for pupils of Horace Mann Elementary School. They had already collected enough items to fill two large chests. Items will be donated to the school later this week.

Runyon said the church’s missions are always busy doing what they can to help the community. One of their year-round projects is Free Clothes and More, a monthly clothing bank that allows those in need to receive other necessary items such as toiletries, paper products, and cleaning supplies. Free clothing and more are held from 10 a.m. to noon on the third Saturday of every month, weather permitting.

Runyon showed the visitor one room downstairs filled with clothes. In another room, shelves were piled high with bars of soap, toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, deodorant, and laundry detergent.

Runion and other members of the expedition enjoy holding the monthly event and getting to know some of the participants who attend regularly.

“We’re going to meet a lot of nice people,” she said.

Runyon said community service projects like Free Clothes and More, a hat and glove, and a stocking and underwear collection are ways church members can live out their faith.

No matter what service the church does, the result is the same: Church members support it, Runyon said.

“It’s something people here really respond to,” she said of the church members. “God put it in their hearts to do it.”

Main Baptist Church

Main Street Baptist Church at 117 Main Street in Binghamton. Sunday mass is held at 11 am. Evening Mass is held on Sundays at 6. Reverend Luke Petty serves as pastor of the church.

For more information, go online to or call the church at 607-723-0031.

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This article originally appeared on Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin: Main Street Baptist Church in Binghamton Offers Winter Wear

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