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Adams House helps the community

By Staff | Aug 25, 2010

THE CUPBOARD IS BARE — This cupboard is usually running over with food but an increase in need for food throughout the county has increased the need for donations. The Adams House Ministries is seeking monetary donations and non-perishable food donations from the community to help neighbors in need.

Most Tyler County residents will go to sleep tonight with food in their stomachs, a roof over their head, and electricity running through all the circuits in their home. They will rest with the knowledge of their security and comforts of home.

But what if tomorrow all the things they knew for certain, were gone? Where would they turn for help or a shoulder to cry on? Where would they go for food to feed their children?

The answer? Adams House Ministries.

AHM is a community outreach center created to provide ministries of Christian love that will touch both those who are in need and those who give. And, for many families in the Tyler County area, they are truly a god-send.

Established by the Middlebourne United Methodist Church, the ministry has been operational for seven years providing emergency assistance, food assistance, support, community service and Bibles to their neighbors. According to the statistics, AHM has helped a growing number of families every year and the numbers continue to increase.

AHM Director Susan Pelikan commented, “We serve all of Tyler County – a third of the families we help come from Sistersville, a third come from Middlebourne and the remaining third come from the outlying areas of the county.”

For Pelikan and those who volunteer, helping their neighbors is more than a job, its a labor of love.

In 2009, Adams House has aided a total of 996 different families, and a good portion of those have included people over the age of 60.

Among the unique programs they offer to the community is the monthly food resources. Families in need may apply to receive a food voucher to be used at Witschey’s in Middlebourne. Each voucher is good for one gallon of milk, one loaf of bread and one dozen eggs. A menial amount for some, but for a family in need, the commodities are precious and very much appreciated.

When funding is available, families may receive a meat voucher every three to four months. Pelikan says she has applied for grants to help with the meat program and recently received notice of a $1,500 grant awarded to Adams House by the United Methodist conference. Another grant application for $1,500 has been filed and she is hopeful the ministry will receive the award.

The Adams House also receives food from the USDA. Allocated food is distributed to those in need based on government guidelines.

Emergency assistance is available to families on an annual basis, with a maximum set at $50. This assistance can be used to pay rent or a mortgage when an eviction notice or foreclosure notice has been issued. Additionally, emergency funds can be used to pay a utility bill when a termination or disconnect notice has been received.

Every six months, neighbors are eligible for prescription assistance through participating pharmacies. In the Tyler County area, those pharmacies are HPS and Phillips Pharmacy, both in Sistersville.

Gasoline assistance is available through the Par Mar in Sistersville and Middlebourne and can be used for traveling to verified doctor’s appointments.

And, in an effort to spread the Gospel, Adams House Ministries offers Bibles, free of charge, to anyone who asks for one.

Funding for the programs is obtained through private donations from individuals, community groups and partner churches, as well as through grants, the Stealey-Greene Fund and fundraisers in the community.

Pelikan speculates there is more behind the giving than a want to help the community. She says things always seem to work out – an indication to many that God is at work in the midst of the ministry.

With the increasing need for help, comes an increasing need for resources and lately the cupboards have been bare. “I am used to giving large bags of food to those in need. Now I am giving as much as I can,” Pelikan remarked. Of course, all food allowances as based on family size.

Those who are interested in donating food items to the pantry can drop of non-perishable items during business hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Suggested pantry items include cans of fruits and vegetables, cans of tuna or chicken, peanut butter, jelly, macaroni and cheese, pasta, spaghetti sauce, cans of soup, raman noodles, toilet paper and paper towels.

Cleaning supplies, personal care items. non-food items used on a daily basis, as well as blankets, sheets and coats are also appreciated.

Covenant partners may also contribute monetarily with a one-time donation or a monthly pledge.

Online shoppers can contribute to the worthy cause by visiting www.igive.com and shop in more than 800 online stores. The Adams House will receive a percentage of the purchase at no cost to the shopper by specifying the organization as the beneficiary.

Those who are unable to give money or food can join the nearly 59 volunteers who donated more than 580 hours to AHM. Residents can further help by simply remembering the Adams House in their prayers.

Adams House Ministries in grateful to all who donate money, food and their time. Pelikan noted a few people, churches and organizations who have helped their neighbors recently. “I want to thank Kim and Charles Winslow of the Wells Inn for donating comforters and blankets; the children who participated in Energy Express for their food donation; the St. Lawrence Catholic Church for donating a portion of the profits from their annual fish fry; the staff and residents of the Sistersville Center for the food drive; all those who drop food off in the cart outside Witschey’s; and everyone who has listened to their heart and donated what they could to help those in need.”

Adams House Ministries is located at 304 East Street, Middlebourne. For more information on programs and guidelines or to make a donation, please contact Susan Pelikan at 304-758-0236.