Dear donors and friends
I have finally found a few minutes to sit down to bring you up to date about the events that have occurred over the last year in our ministry.
First, I want to offer thanks to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for His blessings and direction through another year. Without Him leading the way, we would never have been able to accomplish what we have.
Secondly, I want to express my thanks and appreciation to all of you for your wonderful support over this last year. Your gifts of encouragement, physical help, financial and in-kind gifts have been an inspiration and great blessing to me as well as to those who have been helped by your gifts.
Let me begin by listing some comparative statistics for the first and second years.
Monetary donors 50 ($7,000) 122 ($22,000)
In-kind donors 150+ 224
Assistance provided ? 114 families/individuals
( Community )
Number of volunteers 50 125 +
Number of churches 3 9
Average Program 30+/- 80+/- (last 7 programs averaged 108) Attendance Largest group was 125
H & H Goodwill donations - Bins / $ ? 34.5 / $1035 Vouchers given to help those in need with items we did not have
Christmas Sponsorships 88 250
Christmas party attendance 98 plus 270+ and more than 120 volunteers
Christmas party location Vision Outreach Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ
Community Outreach 0 2 "Free" Yard sales, Bible school, Fall Projects festival,Treat bags to the community (420)
These are the more notable tangible items that were accomplished this past year. But not to be overlooked were the multitude of witnessing opportunities we had as we worked to help our people.
We were blessed by an individual who donated a large truck with a 24 foot box and a lift gate which we use to pick up donated items and deliver items to those in need. We were blessed just last week with a van which was donated by The American Legion local post 48. We plan to use this van to pick up and deliver small items as well as people who need transportation to and from appointments and church. We also plan to use it in a food ministry in the community. (Details to follow as plans develop). This van will be used in a team effort with Vision Outreach Ministries who so graciously provides us with facilities for our operations. They took us out of our parking lot location and invited us in to their facilities and we have enjoyed this association now for more than a year.
We are continually contacted by other agencies for help in assisting them in helping their clients with furnishings for their homes as well as food and clothing. Family Guidance, Family Care Center, Partners Behavioral Health, Hickory Soup Kitchen and the United Way are just some of the agencies who have asked us for assistance. A local school asked us for help with beds and furniture for a family who lost all those items. We had 2 families who lost their homes to fire in the past two weeks. We have helped them with food and clothing and will help them with furnishing, as they are available, when they are able to get into a new home.
We have had many cases of Tortilla chips donated several times this year and many more than we could use. We shared them with the Hickory soup kitchen and Corner Table in Newton. They in turn reciprocate with items they have more of than they can use such as oranges, grapefruit, frozen veggies, coffee, hot chocolate, cereal, donuts, crackers, canned veggies, etc.
We just had a local school, Concordia Christian Day, donate several cases of canned food they collected specifically for us.
A young boy just celebrated his birthday and this year he blessed our ministry by having those who attended his birthday party bring food and clothing items for the homeless instead of gifts for him. How special is that?!
I was invited to a local school, Shuford Elementary, last week to talk to their Student Council about our ministry. They were interested in and will be collecting items for our ministry in the coming weeks.
We are making plans to begin an effort to provide housing for the homeless of our area. We have looked into the "Tiny House" movement that is currently making a difference in a project in Madison, Wisconsin and other areas around the nation. We have found a manufacturer of "Green" Tiny houses who could supply us with the housing units we need at a very affordable price. We are making contact at the present time with some local government officials to find out about the things we need to do in order for this initiative to come to fruition. This is a big undertaking for us, but one we believe is necessary, not just in the Newton-Conover area, but Hickory and surrounding areas as well. If we can get this under way, we can take homeless people living in tents, cars, sheds, with other family members or friends, out of those situations and provide them with a place to live of their own. This can also be a way to provide people, like the ones mentioned earlier who lost their homes to fire, a temporary place to live. Please pray for us as we undertake this project. There is a great need for this.
I was contacted recently by a pastor in Alexander County about his concern for the homeless and needy people of his area. I will be following up with him soon to see about what his concern is and if we may be able to play a part in helping there.
There are so many needs and so many people who are in desperate situations. We must be sensitive to their pleas for help. I met a new "Homeless" man yesterday afternoon. While talking to him, he commented about how "mean" Christians are. He has been in church and is familiar with the Bible, but has been turned off by people who claim to be Christians, but have been rude to him and others who are homeless or in need. I pray that will never be the case with our H & H volunteers. We must be the hands and feet of Jesus. That requires us to be under His leadership at all times.
Current needs are for beds, dressers, chests of drawers, dining tables and chairs, sofas and upholstered chairs. We also need washers & dryers. Propane cylinders are in high demand now due tho the cold, as are blankets, quilts and all sizes of sheets, towels and washcloths. Jackets, gloves, caps, toboggans, hand warmers(chemical type) are also needed.
I hope this has been helpful as well as challenging to you. We need much prayer and help in order to continue this ministry. If you would like to volunteer, please contact me or a volunteer about how you can help.
Phil Williams, Director
Highways & Hedges
Ministry to the Homeless & Needy