The result of two years of planning, Crosslight of Hope became official in April after receiving their 501-C3 paperwork from the state office. This faith-based outreach program is now extending their arms and service to the communities in southern Mason County.
“We really felt the need to bring the ministry to the lower end of Mason County,” said board member Jeanie Nibert. “Hunger does exist in our area and we have felt a burden for some time for the increasing need to reach out in our community.”
One way volunteers are assisting is providing backpacks for children in need filled with fruit and other food items to be sent home on the weekend. The ministry also is planning a food pantry that will be open three days a week. The first pantry will start on April 23.
“Sometimes the only light in a person’s life is Christ,” Nibert said. “That is how we came up with the name, because of the light in the center of the cross.”
But Crosslight of Hope doesn’t just provide food for the needy. The ministry also provides an entire list of items including: clothing, furniture and furnishings, household items, cleaning supplies, personal items, toiletries, baby items, school supplies, automobiles and building supplies.
“We also have computers set up to help those in our area find jobs and take online classes,” employee Traci Livingston said.
Training for job hunters such as writing resumes, telephone etiquette, interview skills, and even clothes to wear on an interview and get started in a new job, is additionally offered at the ministry.
With many volunteers from Ashton Baptist Church, board members from Crosslight of Hope are extending a warm welcome to other churches in the area to become apart of the ministry to spread God’s gift of love.
“It would be wonderful to have a contact person from every church who could help us spread the word and help find necessary items for those in need,” Nibert said.
Marjorie Moran, another board member, continued, “We want to be able to reach the needs of as many people as possible. Our main goal is to let everyone in need know that we are here, willing to help.”
Nibert stated that many people who receive food stamps are ineligible for items such as laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, deodorant and cleaning supplies. Many of these same people also cannot get eye glasses or dental work.
“We can all do better if we just pull together,” Nibert added.
And one way to pull together is asking the community for assistance.
First, Crosslight of Hope asks for everyone to keep them in your prayers in addition to the community and the nation. They also are looking for financial support to help defer the cost of rent, utilities, phone, Internet, and the salary of one, part-time employee.
Their mission statement states, “This outreach to our community is established because of a calling from God to take care of each other and to spread the Gospel wherever we can. With God’s help, all things are possible. We have stepped out in a leap of faith that God wants Crosslight of Hope to succeed in its mission, and He will provide.”
If you are interested in donating gently used clothes, good condition household items, furniture, and new toiletries and cleaning supplies, items may dropped off at the Crosslight of Hope, P.O. Box 11, Ashton, WV 25503.
The ministry also encourages anyone to call with questions or to find out how to volunteer. Or, if you know of someone in need, please contact Crosslight of Hope.
“We are commanded to take care of the weak and the needy and to reach out to people with God’s Word and His love,” Moran added.
Crosslight of Hope is open from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The food pantry also is open at this time. For more information, please contact the ministry at 304-576-2971.