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Churches in Mission serving a growing need in Morgan County

Food donations
Posted at 4:47 AM, Nov 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-28 11:31:50-05

MOORESVILLE — The annual WRTV Toy Drive is underway and we want to highlight some of the organizations we are partnering with this year to distribute gifts to children across central Indiana.

Helping hands
Volunteers work to pack grocery bags for neighbors in need.

The arms of volunteers like Al Long help neighbors in need lift grocery bags into the backs of cars and trucks.

"There are about three or four of us that do that," said Long, as he helps push a shopping cart through the Churches in Mission location in Mooresville.

The ministry also has a location in Martinsville.

Long and his wife started volunteering with Churches in Mission a few years ago in the Christmas shop, but now they come multiple times a week to lend a helping hand.

Longtime volunteer
Al Long started volunteering with his wife several years ago and now they come back multiple days a week to help.

"It's a rewarding experience," said Long. "And I think we as a society need to continue to give back and give to those who don't have as much as we do."

Long sees the need each week in Morgan County.

He says just last week his wife teared up after helping a mother, grandmother and three kids get groceries. The family had been living in their car for a few weeks.

"We have a lot of working poor now," said Long. "We have a lot of people who are going to work everyday, doing the best they possibly can, and just can't make ends meet."

He says volunteering is something we all can do to help our neighbors.

Long is one of many volunteers who give up their time to help Churches in Mission feed and clothe people across Morgan County each week.

Clothing the needy
In addition to food, Churches in Mission collects donations of clothing and toiletry items to distribute to families in need.

"We've been serving families across Morgan County at a rate far beyond what we've done in the past," says Executive Director Susan Haynes, as she too helps load shopping carts with bags of necessities.

She is excited to see a new donation of toiletries comes in during our interview.

"In the economy we are in today, with some of the struggles people have, this could be any of us," said Haynes. "We know these are our neighbors."

Susan Haynes gets to work
Susan Haynes is the Executive Director and says they are serving more families in need this year than in past years.

Haynes says even after we have rebounded from the effects of the pandemic, with the cost of living and inflation, the demand for their services remains high in Morgan County.

She says in a six month period in 2022, they served about 2,800 food orders to families in need.

During that same period in 2023, they served 4,200 orders.

"We are running about 1 and a half times the rate we were last year for assistance for our families," said Haynes.

Churches in Mission was founded back in 1987 by local ministers who saw that together they could do more for families in need in the community.

Christmas shop
Churches in Mission hosts a Christmas shop where families can shop for toys for their kids.

Still today, they work to provide basic needs like food, toiletries and clothing. The organization also provides some life skills training and classes to people in the community. They serve as a distributor of funds for the Salvation Army in the community.

They also host a Christmas shop each year for families who fall between the cracks and are not sponsored but need help providing for their kids during the holiday season.

"Some families get sponsored but many families aren't sponsored," said Haynes. "So we create a Christmas shop here at Churches in Mission in our Mooresville location and our Martinsville location for families who aren't otherwise sponsored, for families to come in and get items for their families."

Some of the donations to the WRTV Toy Drive this year will go towards this mission in Morgan County.

If you would like to make a donation online, you can visit WRTV.com/toydrive for a link to donate.