Last updated: July 17. 2013 1:44PM - 1225 Views
ROGER ALFORD Associated Press Writer

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Rachel Baldwin

Staff Writer

WILLIAMSON - A non-profit organization that was established in 2010 with a mission to eliminate hunger in the Tug Valley area has a new home within the City limits of Williamson.

The “House of Hope”, a 501c3 organization that was created to provide support services to those less fortunate was formerly located in the Town of Delbarton. Although the dedicated volunteers were pleased with their surroundings, the majority of their $20,000 a year funding provided by the Mingo County Commission was being utilized for rent and utility bills.

“The commission gives the House of Hope $20,000 a year to operate,” stated Commissioner David Baisden. “The rent and utilities cost approximately $18,500 a year. This left no meat on the bone at all to use for the purchase of food and other supplies they pass out to those in need. They were basically using every penny they had to just exist.”

“I hated to see the organization have to relocate, but attempts were made to decrease their monthly costs and were unsuccessful. After the county purchased the former Coal Field-CAP building, we offered space to the House of Hope and they gladly accepted.”

Governed by a local Board of Directors, the non-profit agency has opened a food distribution center that will meet the nutrition needs of the families residing in the local area. Through collaboration of area churches, businesses, government agencies and individual contributions, the organization hope to reach their overall goal to eliminate hunger in the Tug Valley Region of Mingo County. Without those who have partnered with them, Chairman June Jude stated this would be an impossible task and would not be sustainable.

Jude and her co-chairman Oliver Spradlin work diligently each and every day to meet the needs of those who require assistance. On the 4th Monday of each month, boxes of food that include frozen meat, fruit, canned vegetables, potatoes, cereals, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti fixings and other items are passed out or delivered to area homes.

“We know that toward the end of each month families who rely on food stamps find themselves scraping the bottom of the barrel to provide meals,” said Jude. “Our goal is to give them enough food supplies to see them through until the first of the next month.”

“With our overhead costs now being at a much lower amount than when we were in Delbarton, we’re hoping to be able to assist more people in need than before,” remarked Spradlin. “We are so grateful to the County Commission for all of their help in getting the House of Hope relocated to Williamson, and for their contributions throughout the past 3 years.”

“We couldn’t have made it without them.”

The House of Hope plans to meet their goals by soliciting cash contributions to cover the administrative and food purchases, and will also conduct food drives involving private and public partners. They will solicit food through government programs and submit request for additional funding to public and private foundations and government agencies.

Clothing donations are also accepted by the group, and are then distributed as requests are received. Although the House of Hope does not have enough space to accept furniture and appliance donations, they do have a list of items that are needed. Jude stated that if you have items such as these that you are wanting to give away, you may call 304-235-1678 and she will attempt to match them up with someone who has asked for that particular item and arrange to have them picked up.

The current sponsors of the House of Hope are E.L. Robinson Engineering, BB&T, the Regional Church of God, the Housing Authority of Mingo County, the Mingo County Commission, Coal Field CAP, VLB Consultants, Inc., the Pie Church of God, the Nolan Freewill Baptist Church, the Maher United Baptist Church, the Chattaroy Church of God, the WV Dept. of Agriculture, Charles and Doris Pack, Debbie and Earl White, the Jamie Carte Ministries, the South Ridge Freewill Baptist Church, TRAMCO, Bill Snodgrass, the Pigeon Creek Women’s Group, the Princeton Pike Church of God, George Swain State Farm Insurance, Vanita Faye Cantrell, WSAZ Children’s Charities, Daniel Webb and the Pilgrim United Baptist Church.

If you would like more information on receiving donations from the House of Hope or to volunteer to help out, you are asked to call June Jude at 304-235-1678. The organization is now located on the 1st floor of the former Coal Field CAP Building on Alderson Street, above the former Williamson High School going toward the Williamson Memorial Hospital.

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