A time to be thankful, but gracious too
This week marks National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, as fitting a time as any as families prepare to gather to celebrate Thanksgiving to remember those among us less fortunate.
It’s a good time to note the work each and every week of the Jefferson County Community Ministries and its spinoff mission, the Jefferson County Homeless Coalition. Both organizations work tirelessly throughout the year to provide clothing, food and shelter to members of our community who have fallen upon hard times.Indeed, this year the Community Ministries, which is open each weekday, is on track to help more than 13,000 people with food, clothes and other items, making them in many ways the one-stop place in Jefferson County. The Community Ministries, which is supported by 51 area churches, for all its good works counts on the generosity of others, namely both county and municipal governments, businesses and civic organizations, and many individuals who donate both materials and time.
The Homeless Coalition, meanwhile, has for the last two winters operated a cold weather shelter at both St. James Catholic Church and Zion Episcopal Church in Charles Town. The Coalition also operates a hospitality center at Charles Town Presbyterian Church, drawing between 20 to 30 people each day for breakfast and lunch. Health and medical services, counseling, job search help and a warm shoulder are also among its offerings.
Both missions are profoundly important, especially for this time of year, as cold weather approaches and as many families continue to struggle with economic hardship.
As we gather this week with friends and family, it’s a good time to ask ourselves what good we might do on behalf of others. To quote the prophet, “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”
To seek assistance or to volunteer, contact Community Ministries at 304-919-0146.