Monthly Mission: July 2009
Written by MC Peeps   
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 21:58

One of our main goals at Mission:Change is to bring awareness to social injustices right here in our community.  Albany has 400+ homeless men, women and yes children.  A by-product of homelessness has long been hopelessness, as society's victims were given little chance of escaping their station in life.  July’s mission is to bring hope to the homeless.  One organization that seeks to give hope to our homeless neighbors is the Albany Rescue Mission.

The Albany Rescue Mission houses men, women and children.  They offer a 12 week program “New Beginnings” for the men and an 8 week program for the women.  They serve 3 meals a day, 7 days a week 365 days a year to both their residents and to the public in need, which amounts to around 8,000 meals per month.

groupOn Saturday, July 18 around 35 volunteers came out to the Albany Rescue Mission to serve.  The guys began the day by cleaning out the mission’s warehouse.  The goal, according to Mr. Johnny (resident and thrift store manager) was to get it organized to be able to open it for the public to be able to shop for furniture, appliances, etc…  The women began their day in the thrift store by cleaning, sorting, folding and organizing clothing, shoes and other items.  Mr. Johnny even stopped long enough to have his picture taken with all the ladies.67 He described it as "Heaven on Earth."

 

While the thrift store and warehouse were getting a much overdue cleaning and organizing, a handful of volunteers began their service by cleaning out, organizing and everything in between in the Rescue Mission’s food pantry.  Allyson, one of the four that volunteered in the pantry that morning explains it from her perspective."As we worked, I began to think of all of the things in my pantry. I felt guilty about throwing out food just because we decided to eat out instead of cook at home. I realized that in my world, food is abundant. We eat Wednesday night supper at church, where the food is beautiful, fresh, and delicious. We focus all of our social events around food, and almost always have leftovers. We take dining out for granted- well, we take ALL things for granted. Residents would come in and out of the pantry, each one stopping to thank us for helping.  When we walked outside, I was honestly relieved for the 82fresh air. I looked around, and thought again....I have so much, and I still complain. I whine about not having this or that car, clothing, etc.  I was so filled with emotion over my own selfishness, gluttony, and pride. I watched as "Little" Larry sat and talked with residents and others about Jesus. He is such a servant of the Lord, and does so with such a joyful heart. I felt so blessed to be a part of this ministry. I pray that God will continue to change my heart and open my eyes. I only helped for a few hours on one day, and I know there is so much more work to be done. It was a blessing I can hardly describe. thanks."


After a couple hours cleaning, sorting, and organizing it was time to serve lunch to the residents of the mission.  At noon the mission held it’s chapel service with praise and worship music and then a message from “little” Larry.  Once chapel let out it was time to serve and eat lunch with the public who came by for meal.  People in line for a hot meal ranged from children around 6 years old to the elderly in their 70’s or up. Black, White and Hispanic….poverty does not discriminate.

85My hope is that everyone who came out to serve this day left feeling different about the homeless than when they arrived.  These are real people with real feelings and deserve to be loved and cared for just as much as someone with a roof over their head. 

Clothes will continue to need sorted and folded at the thrift store, meals still need to be cooked and served, drivers are needed to drop-off and pick up mission residents from their jobs and the hopeless still need to be given encouragement and hope, so if you would like to continue to volunteer at the Albany Rescue Mission let us know or visit their main office at 604 North Monroe St. and speak to “little” Larry.  The best time to catch Larry is usually after 1pm.  Rescue Mission phone # (229) 435-7615.

Monthly Mission: July photo gallary

-peace out

Todd

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