Archive | February, 2011

Our February 2010 newsletter

25 Feb

The February 2010 issue of our print newsletter is available to view by clicking here.

A sad day here

23 Feb

Today is a little bit of a sad day here at Christian Help.  We’re saying goodbye to longtime staffer Ruth Newsome, the dispatcher for our transit program, who has accepted a position elsewhere.

Ruth is responsible, probably more directly than anyone else, for building that program into what it is today.  She has been a guiding force in making it responsive, efficient, and human.

Ruth has been working at Christian Help since 2001.  As she steps into a new direction in her life, we wish her well and offer deep gratitude for her many years of service to the agency and to so many people in our region.

A lot of people served, a lot of love given!

17 Feb

At tonight’s meeting  of the Christian Help board of directors, I’ll present some 2010 year-in-review figures that offer a helpful picture of  the service we provided through the year.   I’ll share them with you, too.  As you can see, there’s a lot of good going on here!

Numbers of clients helped through Direct Aid (financial assistance):

Electric bills     674

Natural gas bills     7

Other home heating fuels     9

Water bills     87

Rent     29

Medicine     90

Glasses     31

Eye exams     14

Dental     127

Gasoline     1,332

Auto repairs     70

Home repairs     79

Clothing, personal, household, etc     118

Total Direct Aid clients     2,753

Food pantry clients

Households served           2,757

Individuals served           5,068

Transit figures

Passenger trips         10,499

Miles of service       102,496

Total clients signed in at front desk through the year     8,001

(figure includes visits to clothing store, food pantry, furniture warehouse, burn-out room, and Sr. Therese’s office—note: some don’t bother to sign in)

Remember, the community of Kermit that we call home has an official population of about 200.  Clearly we’re serve a population far beond the borders of the town.

Most of this work happens through donations from people like you.  Please consider making a gift today, either by mail (Christian Help, P.O. Box 1257, Kermit, WV 25674), or by clicking the DONATE NOW button in the sidebar on the right.  Thanks for considering it!

Feeding Mingo County

16 Feb

Here are some photos of a recent delivery of food to our pantry here at Christian Help.  That’s Sr. Therese, our director of aid, in the denim jacket, keeping things running smoothly.  Some of the other folks are our staff, and many others are local volounteers who generously show up to help unload when we get big deliveries like this.

The food that we stock in our pantry mostly comes through helpful collaborations with Huntington Food Bank and the national organization Feeding America.  We receive a delivery once a month, and all of the food that comes is distributed to families living in poverty here in Mingo County. 

Soup-er Friends!

7 Feb

Our warm thanks go to the good folks at Kermit United Methodist Church, who yesterday held their annual “Souper Bowl Party” after their Sunday services. Admission was free for the luncheon that featured an array of tasty soups, but everyone was asked to bring canned goods or a donation, all of which goes to us here at Christian Help.

We appreciate the support of this local church and their pastor, Rev. Kyle Peake, in what we do here. Rev. Peake is a member of the board of directors of Christian Help, so he knows well what we’re all about. Thank you to all involved!

Important funding for Transit

3 Feb

Here’s some good news for a lot of folks in our part of the world. Christian Help of Mingo County has been awarded important grant funding from not one but two regional foundations recently.

The Logan Healthcare Foundation has awarded the agency $50,000. An additional $15,000 was presented by the McDonough Foundation. Both grants are to support our free transit service during 2011.

As our friends and supporters know, the transit service takes hundreds of people every month to doctors’ appointments, pharmacies, grocery stores, and more. Many passengers who use the service are either elderly or disabled.
 
2010 was the busiest year for this service since it was introduced ten years ago. It provided over 10,000 passenger rides during the year, and the agency’s three vans together travelled over 100,000 miles.
 
A few days ago, I posted some photos from a local holler. As I said, travelling these hollers is not easy even if you have reliable transportation. If you don’t, it’s almost impossible. That’s what makes Christian Help’s transit service so important to the people we serve.
The new grants will cover about half of expenses budgeted for the service during 2011. Some of the remainder is provided by state funding, and the rest must come from gifts from individual donors.

Comments, we get comments

3 Feb

I enjoy reading the comments that are left here from time to time by visitors to this blog. I think many others probably don’t even realize they’re there, because they’re easy to miss.

Like this comment, that was left here yesterday, connected to my most recent post on “Travelling the hollers.” The visitor, who was kind enough to leave her full name, wrote:

Christian Help is the most reliable program in this area. They have been great friends to me and I appreciate their help more than words can describe. Without the transit van, I wouldn’t be able to even make my doctors appointments. I appreciate all the kind people who make donations to keep the vans running.

Thanks, Ida! That’s one I’d like the world to see — yes, because it’s good to know we’re doing something worthwhile, but also so that all the kind folks who send us donations (when they could be renting a movie or going out to eat instead) know how truly important they are.

Keep an eye on the “Recent Comments” box that’s near the top of the right hand sidebar of this blog. That’s the easiest place to find what other people who visit here have to say.

And feel free to leave a comment of your own!