Posted on January 8, 2018 at 1:05 PM
MISSION POSSIBLE: Just Look What YOU Did! (News and Tribune Newspaper: Center for Lay Ministries Column)
By Carol A. Dawson
On the Center for Lay Ministries‚?? (CLM) facebook page, a man recently posted that our local food pantry helped him and his father through some difficult health struggles. He went on to sincerely thank the people who volunteer with and work for CLM. A woman wanted us to know she never thought she would need to utilize a food pantry; however, she found herself in a difficult position and was able to obtain food for her family. She was grateful CLM was there to help.
You, Southern Indiana, did this. Therefore, today CLM would like to thank our community and illustrate exactly what YOU did to make a positive difference through CLM‚??s food pantry and Bliss House/Bliss Too. Our head elf, Greg Henderzah (also our executive director), has been working hard to pull together statistics that show just how important CLM is to our Southern Indiana neighborhoods.
In 2017 (fiscal year ending June 30, 2017) Bonnie‚??s Food Pantry served 21,975 individuals, which meant 9,242 families were sustained with nourishing meals at their table. We track food donations along with how much food is given out by using an industrial weight scale. In 2017, there was 397,758 pounds of food distributed to our neighbors in need.
Comparing monetary contributions to CLM from 2013 to those received in 2017, there was a significant increase. In 2013, $216,230 was raised throughout the year. In 2017, contributions totaled $257,478. Fundraising results have also grown considerably since 2013‚?¶from $11,244 to $42,004 in 2017. Then there is the investment income, which has gone from $113 (2013) to $21,108. Without all of these funds, we would struggle to keep our doors open.
In addition to the pantry, the funds raised also enable CLM to continue the Bliss House program. The Bliss House, a long-term recovery home with a 12-step approach to recovery open to women in several Southern Indiana counties, has grown considerably. In 2013, our Bliss House program served 23 women and in 2017, we served 34 women. We have had 10 women graduate from the program in 2017, allowing each woman to become productive and self-sufficient members of our community.
Where do our clients reside? Glad you asked, as we are also happy to provide that information. The majority of our clients came from Jeffersonville (10,332 people). That isn‚??t too surprising since our facilities are located in Jeffersonville. Next highest number of people we have served are from Clarksville (4,140). We also served clients from Charlestown (1,252), Sellersburg (926), Borden (215), Henryville (197), New Washington (174), Memphis (101), Otisco (101), Marysvlle (72), Nabb (22), and Underwood (17), and we had 240 clients who were homeless.
Our elf Greg, wants you to know, ‚??Our needs at CLM continue to grow and with that growth, we depend more and more upon each of you who have stepped in to volunteer and donate funds. We now have open hours on Saturday and are in need of additional volunteers. CLM is always in need continued donations of food, money, and volunteers. Thank-you doesn‚??t seem to be enough to express how the CLM staff feel about our donors and volunteers. Together we will continue to make a significant difference for those who are less fortunate in our community. Thank you.‚??
All who are associated with CLM want to say thank YOU to those who have played a part in ensuring our success. We are grateful for your commitment to our cause; CLM‚??s success is a reality because of YOU. Happy Holidays / Merry Christmas.
CLM is located at 213 E. Maple St., Jeffersonville, IN 47130. You can contact CLM by calling 812-282-0063 (and specifically asking for either Greg Henderzahs or Dana Busby) or by visiting the website at: www.center4layministries.com
Carol Dawson, the volunteer Communications Coordinator for CLM, is a community columnist for the News and Tribune and President of EEO GUIDANCE, Inc.