Help, Hope, Healing!
This is the focus of a new Allegany County community outreach to aid individuals and families who are struggling with a variety of life issues. The Hope Center, a ministry of the Mission Genesee Valley coalition of churches, other Christian organizations, and individuals opened in November at 4194 Bolivar Road – Suite 5 in Wellsville, across the driveway from the McDonald’s drive-through.
Since that time it has been recruiting and training volunteers, assisting children and adults particularly those with reading needs, and presenting educational workshops for individuals and churches. Although the major emphasis currently is on developing the reading assistance component, the overall goal is much broader, recognizing individual needs within each of 13 life stages the group has identified, from preconception to post-death, all of which can experience elements of trauma.
The ministry is available to individuals and families of any religious background. It includes a drop-in center where individuals can receive prayer for personal, family or other concerns, information and referral assistance, and connection to applicable resources for a variety of life issues. The center has a growing Christian lending library that also offers free books and videos, the reading assistance ministry, and educational seminars to help consumers learn about issues and resources that address various needs, and help churches to understand more about the issues parishioners are facing and how to come alongside those who may be struggling.
The center dubbed A Hub of Hope of Allegany County Churches, also is intended over time to assist churches in other population centers to develop similar ministries that reflect individual community needs.
The efforts are being taken methodically to help ensure the number of volunteers and those seeking services remain in balance. God has been providing a variety of assistance and resources, including color-coordinated furnishings from different donors, as He steadily refines the activities offered. The initiative started when local businessman Michael Raptis was led to donate space in a recently purchased set of storefronts at the Bolivar Road location. Further information is available at Hope Center Allegany County, firstname.lastname@example.org or (484) 435-0503.
-Casey Jones, Hope Center Planning Group Chair