March 21-28, our church virtually hosted families in the United Ministries IHN program by providing rental assistance, care packages, recorded picture book read-alouds, and funds for meals and family outings. Thanks to your generosity, we also provided cleaning supplies for these and future families in the program. During non-COVID host weeks, IHN families stay at our church with volunteers providing meals, setting up bedrooms, and visiting nightly with the families. One of our volunteers, Joan Kellett, shares her past IHN volunteer experiences:
Imagine being a single young mother and today at work you lost your job! There are no relatives nearby to share their homes, no friends to keep the kids while you job hunt, and no funds to pay rent. “Bath time” will be at the gas station; bedtime, sleeping in the car. Hope comes on a billboard about United Ministries and the Interfaith Hospitality Network. We have enjoyed helping with IHN since our church joined the rotation years ago. At first, we took supper and stayed to play pool or ping pong. And since our Sunday school class usually provided the mid-week meal, we enjoyed another visit with the families on Wednesdays. Retirement brought a new opportunity—staying overnight. We were amazed that most families were in their rooms studying, showering and preparing for bed by 9 o’clock. During one of our sessions, we met a mama with two young girls who were still in the program when we hosted three months later. We were thrilled when the girls recognized us and ran to hug us shouting our names, just like our own grands! You, too, can meet these special folks by volunteering your family when our church hosts again. The experience will bless your hearts!—Joan Kellett
Please consider volunteering as we are able to resume taking our turn to host the IHN families! To learn more about IHN, visit the United Ministries website.
—Cam McDade, First Baptist Greenville
IHN Team Coordinator