Jefferson County Community Ministries, Inc. (JCCM) provides county residents with emergency food, clothing and limited financial assistance for utilities, fuel, prescription medications and housing. We believe that through emergency and short-term assistance, those who come to us might then be able to find more permanent solutions to their needs.
Our theme at JCCM is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” Our partnership with our churches, local businesses and civic organizations, educational institutions and schools, government agencies, and most important of all, the residents of Jefferson County, have allowed us to provide assistance to neighbors in need.
I know very little about gardening. I am the only one in my family for several generations who has absolutely no aptitude (and dare I say, interest) in digging in the dirt. I do like the harvesting, however, because I do like to eat.
But, what I do know something about, is how an activity creates community.
475 pounds of daisies is a lot of flowers. But, there they were arrayed all over our floor scale which we use to weigh food as it comes in from our many generous donors and as it goes out to our clients.
Actually, I am not talking about flowers, but about Daisy Troop 40205 who visited us a short while ago. We talked about hungry people and we weighed the 82 pounds of food they brought in as a donation and we went on a tour of the building. They oohed and aahed at the Clothing Closet and it looked like they wanted to try on some of the clothing that they just knew would fit them. They went up and down the aisles of the Food Pantry, noting the dog and cat food, the diapers, and especially the freezer with all those delicious birthday cakes. Then we went into the basement, where they scurried around the mountains of canned goods trying to find the trolls, which were “rumored” to work down there. Continue reading
The Clothing Closet closed on April 1st in order to replace all cold-weather items with clothing designed for warmer weather. The volunteers surprised themselves, working harder and faster than anyone thought possible. A large motivating factor behind their high level of work, was the understanding that our many clients also need to get warm weather clothing. So, our Clothing Closet reopened for client shopping trips on Tuesday, April 14th. The hours remain the same, 9:00 am to noon.
Donations will resume in May, on the same schedule as before: the first two weeks of each month, from 1pm to 3pm, at the Lawrence Street door. Our limit remains three bags, or equivalent containers, of clean and gently used items.
As of January, 2015, the Jefferson County Homeless Coalition became a part of Community Ministries. The Coalition came into being in 2010 with a two-fold mission. The first, and shorter-term mission, is to keep people from freezing to death and the first emergency cold-weather shelter opened in December of that year to meet that first mission objective. The second, and longer-term, part of the mission is to work toward ending homelessness led to the creation in April 2011 of a “day-program” designed to provide services and support to clients in the transition out of homelessness.