Church of the Heartland collecting new items and monetary donations for needy families

Pastor Chris Miller of Church of the Heartland Plymouth campus is leading an effort to collect donations of new clothing, toys, blankets and pillows for needy families who are suffering from extreme poverty who are living at the Red Rock Inn.
By: 
Jamie Stoner
Staff Writer

Pastor Chris Miller of Church of the Heartland (COH) Plymouth campus is leading an effort to collect donations of new clothing, toys, blankets and pillows for needy families who are suffering from extreme poverty who are living at the Red Rock Inn. On Sat., Dec. 22 a group from COH is going to Red Rock Inn to bring gifts and sing Christmas carols.

Miller shared, “This is only the beginning of a long term outreach effort to those who are living at the Red Rock Inn as result of extreme poverty or painful circumstances. We want to get to know the families who are struggling to overcome barriers and see if there is something we can do to help them create a better life for themselves and their families.”

Church of the Heartland is located at 705 East Jefferson Street, Plymouth, IN 46563. Donations can be dropped off or monetary donations can be mailed.

“What if $1,000 could help one family turn their situation around? What if that $1,000 was enough to pay for the rent deposit and the utility deposit and from there they were able to maintain a stable home for their families?” Miller asked. “I think that is worth exploring. Let’s find out if there are people who could use temporary help and that enables them to find long term solutions. I don’t want to just bring them food, say ‘God bless you’ and leave.”

Miller shared, “We are asking for donations of brand new items or monetary donations to be spent on the families who are living there. When we are given financial donations we are able to reach out to families and ask for specific sizes or inquire about specific needs.”

Miller and a group of volunteers are reaching out to the community for support. “There are a lot of great organizations within Marshall County who are helping families and individuals in need. The unique circumstances that families out at the Red Rock Inn are facing make it hard for them to get the help they need. One specific area of hardship is getting help with a rent deposit or a utility deposit. Some of these families are living one day at a time or one week at a time and it’s nearly impossible for them to break through that barrier and stabilize.”

Miller emphasized, “Regardless of any of the circumstances facing the adults, there are children out there who need help. I also believe there are adults out there who need help. Their hardship is poverty and not necessarily poor choices. I believe Marshall County does have a homeless problem and a homeless shelter would be beneficial for the community.”

Miller admitted this was only the beginning. “I don’t have all of the answers. This is only the first step of an effort to reach out to people suffering from extreme poverty and difficult circumstances. There are some people who simply do not want to make a permanent and positive change in life and nothing anyone does or says changes that. We understand our limitations, but we want to try.”

Miller shared compassionately, “It is easy to make assumptions when you don’t know people’s faces, their names or their stories. Every one of us has a story. I want to hear theirs. Maybe we can’t help everyone out there. But if we can help even one family it will be worth the effort.”

Miller shared, “There are times we don’t have funds. But I do not have a policy that says we won’t help people in any certain circumstance. If we have the money and that money will help overcome a barrier - we are going to help. That is what the church is here for.”

Miller shared, “I knew that we had people who struggled with homelessness in our community. But it wasn’t until I started to meet some of the people who are actually living in that situation that my conviction was strengthened to help. It became more than knowledge for me that people needed help - I started to get to know the people personally who needed the help. I can’t turn back now.”

Miller emphasized, “I prayed for those impacted with extreme poverty who were living at the Red Rock Inn. I hadn’t sought God specifically about what could be done to bring them out of their circumstances. They need more than thoughts and prayers. They need help.”

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