From God’s pronouncement in Genesis 2:18 that “it is not good for man to be alone” to the frequent New Testament directives to love, serve, forgive, help, and pray for one another, the Bible is clear that God created us to be in fellowship with each other. One of the benefits of corporate worship, for example, is so that we may encourage others (see Hebrews 10:25). Our faith is strengthened inwardly, equipping us to serve in the various capacities as the Lord has directed.
This truth applies to the Mission’s work in our community, too. The activities that occur on our campus and at Faith House each day are the result of many unseen partnerships. We cherish these relationships and are grateful for how they equip us practically to continue meeting the needs of people in our community. We are also greatly encouraged by the kindness and compassion demonstrated by our partners and are grateful for the generous spirit behind each grant we receive, each article of clothing donated, and every pound of food we are given to distribute.
Together with our partners and donors, we are building a stronger community in Frederick by offering hope and help in the name of Jesus. Large financial donations through local funding organizations such as the Ausherman Family Foundation, Community Foundation of Frederick County, Delaplaine Foundation, G Frank Thomas Foundation, Helen J. Serini Foundation, William E. Cross Foundation, and the Women’s Giving Circle help us purchase equipment, construct buildings, renovate existing structures, purchase food and supplies, and more.
Additionally, local businesses, organizations, and individuals who donate food on a regular basis keep our Food Distribution Center stocked and ready to provide for those in need. The FDC building was constructed in 2016 by the generous contributions of Dan Ryan Builders Charitable Foundation, and its shelves are filled each week through partnerships with the Maryland Food Bank, Weis Markets, Sheetz, Wawa, Aldi, and many more. And we are occasionally surprised by impromptu donations from truck drivers, enterprising young people, or local Scouting troops.
When COVID hit our community last year, food insecurity reached new levels. Alone, we could not have risen to the challenge to provide for our neighbors in need. But together with local funders, the Maryland Food Bank, local businesses, and organizations like I Believe in Me, we were able to reach people throughout Frederick County with food in their own neighborhoods. The F.O.O.D. Program is celebrating one year of providing thousands of pounds of food to support food banks, churches, and other organizations. This has only been possible through collaborating with others in our community.
Those experiencing homelessness in the Frederick community were also deeply affected by COVID and the restrictions that followed in its wake. However, by working with other local organizations like the Salvation Army, Frederick Community Action Agency, and the Religious Coalition, our neighbors in need found shelter and warm meals each day.
Finally, working with other like-minded people and organizations helps those in the Mission’s residential programs. For example, volunteers teach classes and provide recreational opportunities for the men in the Changed Life Recovery Program. Also, another Frederick nonprofit, Second Chances Garage, helps graduates of the program purchase a new car for a very reasonable price. This is a significant help to the men as they exit the program and seek to build a new life that includes stable employment and fiscal responsibility.
Women graduating from the Faith House 90-Day Shelter Program and the Transitional Living Program are often assisted by another local nonprofit, Advocates For Homeless Families, as they work toward their own sustainable housing goals. These women are blessed by the Mission’s partnership with this wonderful organization. Executive Director Ken Allread observes, “Partnering with Faith House to help homeless women and children attain sustainable futures is effective in ending homelessness.” Together with Advocates, we are working to help women and strengthen our community.
All of this is possible because of the collaboration and mutual support we experience within our community. Together we are stronger and better equipped to bring help, healing, and change to each life we touch. We are grateful for each and every partner, large or small, who faithfully and enthusiastically joins with us to change lives now and for eternity.