Every adult, not just in Morgan County, but across the nation likely understands the fear that comes from feeling overwhelmed and lost. Churches in Mission began with the efforts of three ministers in October, 1987 to work together to serve those in poverty in Morgan County, those who live with fear and need every single day.

Today, Alice Cordes is the organization’s Executive Director. She took the position as interim director in 1997 after retiring as Executive Director of the Mental Health Association in Morgan County. She offered to help her mother, Marjorie Butler, who was the chairman of the board of directors, while they sought a director. She said, “I realized that this is where God put me and where I was supposed to be. It was the right fit.”

Because she feels it was the right fit does not mean it is not challenging. “This position is very humbling,” Cordes said. “We realize how very fortunate we are.”

What began as three churches combining efforts now includes financial and material support from more than a dozen Morgan County churches and several local businesses and other not-for-profit organizations. A second location in Martinsville has opened in addition to an educational location, Hope House, in Mooresville.

Cordes will tell all who listen about the need in Morgan County. “The amount of poverty in this county is high,” Cordes said. “It is often reflected in the number of free or reduced lunches provided in schools. Almost 50 percent of students in the county qualify. Of that, only about 8 percent are reduced, the majority qualify for free lunch.”

Individuals and families who qualify can get food, household items, and clothing at Churches in Mission. Some can also get limited financial assistance for necessities such as housing and utilities. Every week the organization purchases approximately $2,500 in food in addition to donations. Everyone loves the fresh produce donations from home gardens, because most food purchased is non-perishable. Many organizations, including schools and businesses, host food drives for the pantry.

Homeless, especially youth, come to the door looking for help finding shelter. Volunteers offer all the help and resources they can, but there are many times that resources are stretched beyond capacity already.

Download the full October 2017 edition here

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