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Faith Mission continues to serve residents in need

Several local volunteers are committed week in and week out to doing the work they believe the Lord has called them to do, and they said they are looking forward to helping even more people in 2013.
The Faith Mission Outreach in downtown Russellville is a needs-based ministry where those who qualify to receive assistance can get certain essentials such as food and clothing.
Faith Mission has been under the direction of a board of directors since the facility was acquired by Calvary Baptist Church in Russellville in 2008.
The former owner, Matthew Mangino, approached Dr. Wade Wallace, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Russellville, about the church acquiring the property since it was experiencing some financial hardships.
Wallace said once the church voted and gave approval to accept the property, church members and volunteers spent two years building up funds to do some much-needed remodeling and cleaning to prepare for the re-opening that took place in October of 2010.
“This is a great organization that is completely separate from the church itself but we have many of our church members who serve as volunteers there,” Wallace said.
“The church just hated to see a place like this that helps so many people in our community just close its doors so several members provide the labor and time it takes to run the place, but it isn’t actually a branch of our church.”
Wallace said since they offer assistance and many of their groceries they provide come from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), they have several federally-mandated guidelines they must follow in order to provide someone with assistance.
“At the beginning of every year, the people who receive assistance from us have to fill out a new form in order to continue to participate,” Wallace said.
“We have to have a valid I.D., we need proof of eligibility so we have to know if they receive any type of government assistance such as WIC, we need proof of SSI benefits if there are any, and we have to know the household income level.”
Wallace said the person must also be a resident of Franklin County since they want to help those in need locally first.
“This may seem like a lot of requirements, but we have to make sure we’re giving this assistance to those who really need it and not people who are trying to take advantage of the situation,” he said.
Wallace added the number of people visiting the Mission has dropped off in the past few months.
“We think the reason can be attributed to having the people fill out forms again because it’s a new year,” Wallace said. “But many of them don’t understand that we have to have this information in order to operate. It’s no different than the forms they initially filled out, so we just encourage them to come back to see us if they’re really needing the help.”
Wallace said those who volunteer throughout the week do not receive any pay for the assistance they offer, but volunteer Pete Thorn said that doesn’t matter to them.
“We get our pay every Thursday when we get to help the people who come through these doors,” Thorn said.
“Seeing them receive the things they need and how grateful they are is pay enough for us.”
Volunteer Taylor Grisham agreed.
“We just want to help everyone we can,” he said.
The Faith Mission is open every Thursday from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. to give out supplies. Anyone interested in filling out a form to qualify for participation can call Faith Mission Outreach at 256-331-GIVE or visit them at 104 Jackson Ave. S. in Russellville. Volunteers are available throughout the week at various times.
Donations of furniture, food, or new or slightly used clothing are always welcome and can be dropped off anytime in the drop-off box located behind the building on the back porch.