Kingsport Times News Thursday, November 20, 2014
Community Sunday Stories

H.O.P.E. Christian Ministries offers a hand up

August 11th, 2014 9:00 am by Collin Brooks

H.O.P.E. Christian Ministries offers a hand up

A group of churches in the Duffield community noticed a need for help in the area and decided to band together. So instead of providing a hand out, H.O.P.E. Christian Ministries is providing a hand up.

"We are in the heart of the Appalachia, so there are a lot of people and there isn't a lot of industry in the area compared to the number of people that live here," Center Coordinator Janey Osborne said.

Seven churches of different denominations banded together and started meeting monthly and, from that, grew H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Excel Christian Ministries), with services including a food pantry, clothes closet, elderly/homebound meal delivery, counseling and tutoring.

"It is basically a community help center where everything is free," Osborne said. "We're just seven area churches who are working together to help our community live a better life."

The food pantry is open on Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m., and each family is allowed to visit once a month. The clothing closet is open on Thursday from noon to 6 p.m., and each family is allowed to visit once a month.

The elderly/homebound meals are delivered for lunch on Wednesdays.

"We are trying to help people in the area that have fallen on hard times, and also help those who think there aren't any options for improvement to better themselves," Osborne said. "We are trying to help break the cycle for those children. We want their children to know, and the parents to know, that there is a better way."

The center will start tutoring school children and helping adults study for and get their GEDs so that they might be able to get jobs and help to change the culture of the area.

"Some people may have the job skills, but they don't know how to make a resume effectively in order to get a job," Osborne said.

The facility opened its doors at the beginning of July and the response has been great.

"The first couple of weeks have gone well," Osborne said. "It will take some time for the community to know that we are open, but we've had families come in for our Food Pantry and Clothes Closet the days we've been open."

HOPE also provides people with a number of other things that can be helpful for them.

"We try to give them as much community information as we can that might help them if they need assistance with other things that we don't offer," Osborne said.

Also on Friday evenings at 7 p.m., the facility serves as a meeting place for 'Train of Recovery,' a program that is open to those that may need help with beating their addictions.

The pastors in the area started meeting months ago, and decided to put the building - which was donated to Thomas Village Baptist Church - to use. It now houses the H.O.P.E headquarters.

While things have started well for the organization, it will only thrive with the continued support of the community.

"We have lots of opportunities for those that want to volunteer their time and talents, and (we) truly appreciate volunteers in any capacity. We also rely heavily on donations," Osborne said.

For more information or to assist with donations or time, visit H.O.P.E Christian Ministries online at hopecm.weebly.com or call 276-431-0331.

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