Throughout the last year, we’ve had to adjust our normal ways of championing our communities. To help support people in need, 765 chapters participated in the Shelter With Care campaign in February and March. The goal was to donate to local homeless relief groups, and our chapters gave $438,000 to 812 organizations throughout the campaign. These donations certainly played a big role in providing essential needs for neighbors who may be struggling right now.
One example of a project during this time was a donation to Shower Power by Chapter 1450 in Jackson, MS. This group provides a mobile shower unit for people experiencing homelessness in the Jackson area. The chapter wanted to do something unexpected, so when former National Director Ron Aldridge suggested giving to Shower Power, the members knew it was the perfect collaboration. Their $500 donation helped with fuel costs for the shower trailer and to buy supplies like soap and towels. Shower Power plans to start a mobile laundry service as well, so the chapter will have more opportunities to assist them in the future.
“We have done a lot in the community, but nothing like this before,” said Kenny Phillips, Chapter 1450 president. “Our chapter looks for those who are helping others in our area, and Shower Power is doing exactly that.”
Chapter 502 in Amarillo, TX, also made an impact with their donation, supporting transitional apartment housing for people through their Salvation Army. The chapter recruited a local Sunday school class, called Christians in Action, that does hands-on projects. The class plans to refurbish an apartment for the Salvation Army to provide shelter for people experiencing homelessness. The chapter is using their $500 donation to buy supplies for the project. The class members will do the home improvement work on their own time, and the Salvation Army will find the clients who will benefit from the housing.
Chapter 502 member Jamie Pendleton said the chapter has worked with the class for several years, and members were happy to help any way they could. “The class has the time and skills to get the work done. That is helpful when so many of our chapter members work full time and can’t physically do the renovations,” Pendleton said.
Multiple chapters in Virginia have supported an organization called God’s Pit Crew for many years. This group provides support for people who have experienced devastating damage after storms and other natural disasters. God’s Pit Crew members deliver supplies, rebuild homes and schools, and offer hope to those who are displaced by disasters. Chapter 179 in Wylliesburg, VA, donated its Shelter with Care funds to God’s Pit Crew to help the organization meet its varying needs, especially since it’s getting fewer contributions this year due to the pandemic.
“We recently experienced an ice storm in our community. God’s Pit Crew was there to provide food and blankets and clean up for families,” said Chapter 179 President Debbie Flynn. “They were a great and uplifting organization for everyone, and we wanted to support them.”
One of WoodmenLife’s shared commitments is providing for our communities. These chapters offer just a few examples of the great work our members1 do to show that commitment each and every day.
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