Gail Kimball collumn: What does Rowan Helping Ministries do?
Rowan Helping Ministries (RHM) feeds the hungry three meals a day 365 days a year, provides overnight shelter 365 nights a year, and assists hundreds of folks weekly who are in financial crisis. Have you ever wondered what else RHM does? You might be surprised to learn that
RHM assists in the Backpack Buddies Program that packs nonperishable food for Overton Elementary students identified by guidance counselors to take home on Fridays. The program ensures that these young children will have nutritional food available over the weekend. Middle school students from First Presbyterian Church repack the weekend provisions for Friday distribution.
RHM offers New Tomorrows in partnership with Park Avenue Methodist Church. This program requires guests of the overnight shelter to attend morning classes on Monday through Friday when life skills classes are held. The classes are varied and include such basics as cooking, gardening, budgeting, and job interviewing skills. Have you seen the flower garden at the Park Avenue church which was cultivated, planted, and now tended by shelter guests?
RHM, working closely with Rowan Cabarrus Community College, is in the process of adding GED classes to the already flourishing New Tomorrows Program.
RMH has a fully functioning satellite program located in Mt. Ulla at the old volunteer fire station on Grampton Road. This branch of RHM, called RHM West, is open every Friday morning plus the second
Saturday morning. Twelve western Rowan County churches are actively supporting this endeavor.
RHM is in the early process of talking with Main Street Mission in China Grove to partner efforts in the southern part of the county.
RHM packs lunches each morning for overnight shelter guests who can’t get back for Soup Kitchen to take to their job sites (268 were packed in 2008).
RHM is currently planning a community-wide Thanksgiving Service. This one-hour service of thanksgiving and praise will be held in the Catawba College Chapel on Sunday, November 15, 2009, at 4 p.m. Maybe your church will respond by having a member carry one of your church banners in the processional. Watch for details on the RMH web site, www.rowanhelpingministries.com.
The Facility Committee, made up of volunteers from eight different churches, rotate monthly to inspect and make repairs at the RHM facilities on Long and East Liberty Streets.
RHM Shelter Teams, volunteer churches, and staff hold prayer circles daily to lift up client-generated prayer requests.
RHM staff coordinates and supervises hundreds of volunteers, manages the transitional housing program, Eagles Nest I and Eagles Nest II, receives and processes donations, and distributes donated clothing as well as over a thousand pounds of food daily.
These programs account for some, but not all, of the activities at RHM. RHM is not only surprising; RHM is also AMAZING.