Program Utilizes Community Service Projects
Volunteer Ministry Center will open the doors to its Annual Holiday Store at 1:00 p.m. on November 30, 2016. Located at 511 N. Broadway, the store is a unique program where individuals can earn gift items for their loved ones with points accrued through community service. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the store and VMC is expecting an even greater turnout than the previous year’s 161 participants who completed 644 service hours at different locations in order to shop for 553 recipients.
Each November and December, numerous local agencies including the Bush Family Refuge, Helen Ross McNabb Center, and Cherokee Health participate in the Holiday Store program by pairing individuals with community service projects where they can earn points based on the number of hours performed. These points can then be used to “purchase” gift items from the VMC Holiday Store that participants may not have been able to purchase otherwise due to financial restrictions.
“This time of year evokes the spirit of giving,” says VMC CEO Bruce Spangler. “The Holiday Store becomes the place for giving to take root for households that would otherwise have difficulty in doing so for their loved ones. Your support and giving to the VMC Holiday Store makes giving blossom throughout the community.”
The varied service projects range from indoor work to inter-agency collaboration on outdoor projects such as landscaping in Old Gray Cemetery. The Holiday Store will be open this year from November 30th to December 21st. New gift items and cash donations are always appreciated and may be dropped off at VMC during normal office hours. Items most in need include children’s toys and craft sets, baby clothes and toys, sports balls, cosmetic/perfume sets, and small tool kits. For more information, please contact Gabe Cline at (865) 524-3926 Ext. 224 or visit the website at www.vmcinc.org/vmc-holiday-store.html.
The mission of VMC is to facilitate permanent supportive housing for those who are homeless and to provide services to prevent homelessness. Funded by generous donations from the community, some of the programs at VMC include the Bush Family Refuge dedicated to the prevention of homelessness, the Resource Center which uses a case management model to help the homeless into housing, the VMC Dental Clinic, and Minvilla Manor with 57 units of permanent supportive housing. To help VMC fulfill its mission, individuals may donate at the link on the website, www.vmcinc.org.