Compassionate Ministries celebrates awarded grant
It’s a big week for Compassionate Ministries, Inc. In addition to celebrating an open house this Thursday, the non-profit organization that is geared to reaching out to those with need in the local community learned that it is the recipient of a $26,000 matching grant through the Lutheran Foundation.
Open house for the new location on the corner of North Jefferson and Water Streets will be held this Thursday, Aug. 15, from 10-12 a.m. There will be a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m.
Executive director Don Sauls and his wife, Sandy, who assists in a dedicated manner with the outreach, moved their services from a small building beside the Chamber of Commerce to the more exposed and larger site last March 1. Since then, the success of the establishment has been nothing but up, says Sauls.
“The office is more spacious; Sandy and I both work in here,” said Sauls. “The thrift shop area is at least 10 times bigger than it was before. We have received a lot of good comments about it. The display window makes it possible for people to see what we have to sell, whether the store is open or not.
“The food pantry is much larger and much more accommodating,” continued Sauls. “The donations are up since people can see what we need and they understand what we’re doing here. We have expanded our thrift shop, especially in the area of furniture, nice furniture. That has become a big money-raiser for us. There are a lot more people coming in and buying things.”
Sauls said that an increase in purchases means an increase in income and provision of more money to use in reaching out and helping people.
“July was our biggest month. Our sales exceeded $2,000,” observed Sauls. “That was really, really good. With the increased visibility, we are getting more prayer support; there is more concern for the needs in our community.”
In addition, the Sauls just received word this past Friday that the ministry has been awarded a $26,000 matching grant for the year 2014 from the Lutheran Foundation.
“This is a matching grant that must correspond to new dollars,” said Sue Faust, grants assistant with the Lutheran Foundation. “All donations given in 2014 over the amount the donor gave in 2013 will count toward the matching grant, as well as all dollars contributed by a new donor.
“All proceeds raised by selling items in the thrift store will also count and will be matched dollar for dollar up to a combined total of $26,000 for 2014. We’re looking for individuals to increase their donations from 2013; personal, business, non-profit organizations and through increased sales in the thrift shop,” Faust said.
“This is an operational grant, a very generous grant, but one that is a real challenge to us,” said Sauls. “They don’t want to just fund the operation, they want the community to own it.”
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