Past Minutes for Mission
More information about the organizations and projects annually supported in part by Chapel donations -- putting your offerings
to work in our community.
Toys for Tots of Morgan County
The mission of the Toys for Tots program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December and to distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to local children in need as verified by various social service agencies of the county. The program is run under the direction of the Lions Club of Morgan County. The chapel makes a yearly cash donation from its outreach funds and toys are purchased by the Lions Club. A donated storage locker allows for the purchase of toys on sale throughout the year.
As in the past, each child will receive one big gift (like a bike, play kitchen, etc.) and several smaller ones. Also, each child will get at least 5 books to take home. Several years ago, our outreach committee was able to help directly one of our food basket recipient families in great need that we learned about just a few days before Christmas. The family had various emergency situations that year which caused them to miss the deadlines to apply for assistance but we were able to get help from Toys for Tots of Morgan County who stepped in and provided gifts for the children.
The Hedges Chapel Outreach Committee conducts its annual Christmas Angel project to give gifts of clothing to school-aged and younger children of the families we assist with our holiday food baskets. Individuals or families from the Chapel or the general community provide wrapped gifts of clothing for a child of their choice on our list. All size details, age of child and favorite colors are given. Please watch for our announcement on the News page if you are interested in helping in this way.
Warm the Children
The Chapel also donates funds each year to help support the Warm the Children project sponsored by the Martinsburg Journal newspaper. Local social service organizations such as the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and Starting Points, among others, collect applications from families throughout the area who need warm clothes for their children. Staff members accompany parents on a shopping trip to a local store where they select a warm coat and other needed warm wear for winter up to a certain maximum amount. The clothes are wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree so that the children also get to unwrap presents on Christmas. The Journal has been successful in its Warm the Children program, raising more than half a million dollars since 1996. Between 400-500 children are served each year. All donations received go directly to the program, which runs solely on volunteers, so that every cent raised is spent on a youth in need in the Eastern Panhandle. For more information, contact Pam Cook at 304-263-8931.
Loaves and Fishes of Hedgesville
Our “Souper Bowl of Caring” food drive in January and February benefitted the Hedgesville Loaves and Fishes. Loaves and Fishes is a ministry of the Hedgesville Area Community of Churches, hosted by Hedgesville United Methodist Church. This ministry provides a set bag of food items, plus extras, to those in need on the 4th Friday of each month. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, they also provide turkeys. Food donations are accepted all year round and when the congregation meets in person again we will once again be collecting your non-perishable food donations for them. Wintertime, after the holidays, is usually a slower time of year for Loaves and Fishes to receive donations, so they were especially appreciative. Thanks to all of you who give so willingly to help feed local hungry families and to the volunteers who lead this project.
The Chapel also makes an annual donation to them annually. “As you do for the least of these, so do you also for me”.
Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission'
This Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission can assist us with a common spring ritual – spring cleaning – or at any time one identifies certain useable items no longer of need.
The Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission has been serving the community of Martinsburg since 1956 with their mission of fulfilling the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20. They disciple men by equipping, educating, and empowering them to be Christ-like disciples therefore returning to the local Church and community as productive members of society. They accomplish this through daily prayers and financial gifts from congregations like ours and individuals. The Rescue Mission has never received government funding. Because of folks like us, they provide God's Word, meals, clothes, jobs, and shelter to thousands of men, women, and children every year.
To help finance its work, the Mission operates a recycling center as well as a thrift store. You may donate items at the center on Elijah Street Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 6:30 pm. They accept paper, cardboard, shredded paper, and all metal cans inc. aluminum. Please note that they no longer accept plastic items.
The Mission’s Thrift Store, located next door at 606 West King Street, gives donated clothing, shoes, household items and furniture to many needy individuals and families. The Mission also uses the revenue generated by the sale of donated items to support its ongoing work. You may donate clothing and these other items at the Elijah Street warehouse.
You can find more information at: www.martinsburgunionrescuemission.com.
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College Recovery Coach Certificate Scholarship
Several months ago, the chapel established our newest donation program under the auspices of the Blue Ridge Community and Technical College Foundation. In a special chapel account within the Foundation, we will fund three (3) scholarships for persons in the Eastern Panhandle who wish to address the addiction issues in our community by becoming a certified Recovery Coach. All of our donated funds go to these scholarships – nothing is taken out for overhead costs of the foundation.
BRCTC, in cooperation with local agencies, has developed a four-day intensive training program, currently conducted over Zoom. Students then complete 16 clinical training hours at the Blue Ridge Recovery Resource Center in Charles Town, WV. Recovery Coaches promote recovery by removing barriers and obstacles to recovery and serving as personal guides or mentors to those who are seeking or already in recovery. The training focuses upon being a good listener, asking the right questions and discovering and managing one’s own issues.
Some students are in recovery themselves, while others are from organizations that wish their employees to be trained to work with those with addiction issues.– teachers, day report center or prison staff, EMT’s, non-profit staff, social workers, etc. – in order to guide, mentor and support anyone who would like to enter into or sustain long-term recovery from an addiction to alcohol or other drugs. For some of these individuals, scholarships will make attendance possible.
Criteria to apply for one of these scholarships are:
Applicants must demonstrate financial need
Applicants are pursuing a Recovery Coach Certificate.
A typed personal statement explaining how the scholarship will help them achieve their career goals.
Applicants must complete a BRCTC Recovery Coach Certificate Scholarship Application which will be reviewed by the BRCTC Recovery Program Coordinator and the Foundation Director. Scholarships awards will be distributed for the fall and spring semesters
The Recovery Coach program is an integral part of the community framework in the Eastern Panhandle, building a strong workforce and society. Our contribution to this effort assists in maintaining the future of our community by assisting with recovery from addiction. For more information about applying, contact Anne Myers at the BRCTC Foundation.
Two Chapel Scholarships Awarded:
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College has awarded two of the three recovery coach scholarships that the Chapel has funded for this year (see details below in our Minute for Mission). The statements of the applicants, both staff from Starting Points in Morgan County, will warm your heart.
"I work for Morgan County Starting Points. We are a family resource center. I recently completed the Nurturing Parenting Certificate course and I work with parents and grandparents raising grandchildren. Some of our grandparents have family members affected by the opioid crisis. The information presented in the course syllabus looks awesome and very relevant to what we do to help families."
"Starting Points offers life skills education for the community and for court referrals. While I have a master's in counseling, we feel that there is such value in teaching life skills that it was worth certification. Combined with recovery coach skills and the fact that this is local training makes this offering perfect for us. Many of the court referrals are parents who are recovering addicts and may have experienced intergenerational trauma. The combination of recovery coaching and coaching is awesome."
Pleasant View Elementary School
While the Chapel does not make a direct monetary contribution to Pleasant View Elementary School (PVES), we are involved with parents, teachers, and children there in various ways throughout the year.
The school is located close by on Route 9, just inside the Morgan County line. It prides itself as “The Home of the Roadrunners.” PVES serves about 125 students in grades K through 5 and is a Title I school. Title I is a federal education program that supports low-income students throughout the US. Funds are distributed to high poverty schools, as determined by the number of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.
During the school year, the chapel assists 10-12 families by providing them with fresh meat, produce and other perishable and non-perishable food through our Holiday Food Basket program at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Twelve hundred dollars annually is budgeted from the chapel budget to purchase the fresh food and meat. Congregation members are always generous in supplying the non-perishable items which help to stock the family’s pantry. School-aged children from these families are adopted by members of the congregation and the Woods community and provided with clothing through our Christmas Angels activity. Last year, we adopted 21 children for this program.
In the summer, the outreach committee hosts a donation program for school supplies. The donation drive goes from mid-July to the start of the school year in mid-August.
Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center (EPEC)
For many years, the Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center (previously known as the Shenandoah Women's Center) has been a major recipient of donated funds from the Hedges Chapel Outreach budget. A non-profit, community-based agency, it was founded in 1977 by a group of community volunteers who wanted to help women who were being abused by their partners. They formed the areas’ first crisis hotline for domestic abuse which continues today 24/7. Since then, EPEC has grown into a comprehensive resource and counseling center offering service to the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
EPEC’s mission is to protect victims, prevent violence and empower survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking. They accomplish this by providing victims and survivors the resources necessary to effectively cope with the personal, social, emotional, and legal ramifications of victimization.
EPEC is funded in part by a mix of state and federal governmental agencies, associations, charitable campaigns, and corporate and private contributions and donations.
With outreach facilities in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Counties, EPEC offers clients a convenient and safe place for crisis intervention and licensed professional counseling. Over the years, various chapel members have served as volunteers at SWC/EPEC. To see how you might get involved, see their current and ongoing volunteer needs listed on their website: https://epecwv.org/volunteer.