Here to Help to open in March

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
A committee from Community Grace Church in Greencastle is excited to launch Here to Help, a program to aid anyone needing a little boost in these tough financial times. The members who volunteered to get the program going were, from left: Paul Hutchison, Denise Hutchison, Betty Elway, Karla Thompson, Anna DaCosta, Nicole Mornhinveg and Suzanne Furtado. Not pictured, Bill Stanley and Toni Stanley.

Prayers have been answered, and the congregation of Community Grace Church, 17 N. Washington St., is ready to open the doors for an outreach project.

Here to Help will occur March 4 and 5.

"It's an event for people who have found themselves in financial stress," said Denise Hutchison.

Anyone is welcome to stop in Friday evening from 4 to 8 p.m. or Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. At no cost, visitors will be able to enjoy a hot meal and choose items they need. Clothing for all ages, food, furniture and household items are available.

"We know everything will be perfect for the people who need them," continued Hutchison.

The mission came to fruition after Betty Elway proposed the idea. At one time she herself needed help and received it. She hoped her church could in turn provide assistance to others.

A committee had been praying for direction since July 2009, and in the last two months everything came together. Donations flowed in. Word of mouth was the best advertisement. People started calling, offering their extra stuff if someone could pick it up. At Elway's retail job in Waynesboro, a customer came in looking for storage bins for goods she wanted to donate somewhere. The employee at the counter said they didn't have exactly what she wanted, but she knew who would appreciate the bags of items. The customer gave them away on the spot.

Elway's spare bedroom is full of merchandise.

"God just started sending everything," she said.

Nicole Mornhinveg was in charge of finding more free storage space. She called around to various rental companies.

"On my sixth call, to Ed Shindle from Upton Storage, right away he said, 'I can do that for you'," she recalled. He set aside a 10 x 15 unit and within two hours they had the keys.

In addition to food and material goods, people who attend Here to Help have access to nurses who will give health assessments, and counselors will be present. The event is scheduled to be held quarterly.

Pastor Paul Hutchison will also take calls for emergency needs at any time, at 717-830-2260 or by email at greencastlegbc@gmail.com