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Church seeks donations for homeless ministry

Imagine being out in the frigid winter temperatures with no shelter to speak of and little food to eat. For the homeless community of the Tri-State, this scenario can be a harsh reality.

That’s where the First Baptist Church of Proctorville comes in. The church actively ministers to the homeless population that lives at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington, W.Va. They call the program “Takin’ It To the Street.”

Members of the church plan to spend time ministering to the people on Christmas Eve as well as about a week before Christmas.

In order to do that, they are asking for donations of several items.

“They just need their basic needs met,” church member Randy Thompson said. He said the ministry could use items like water, tarps, sleeping bags and blankets, hand warmers, pots and pans, and cots.

“We’d love to have some turkey fryers,” Thompson said, adding that the people can cook meals in the fryers.

Firewood, socks, lawn furniture, tents, diapers and canned food items that are easy to open are also among the needs.

Some people ask why the church wants to help homeless people, because many of them are homeless implying that of their own choices, Thompson said.

“We don’t care how they got there, we just want to help,” he said. Thompson compared the ministry’s outreach to homeless people to God’s love for people.

God came to where we are, Thompson said.

Thompson has built a relationship with the 16 or so people that live along the river, he said.

“They’re very welcoming to me,” he said.

Thompson said some of the past volunteers with the ministry have been children who give up their Christmas Eves to come. While it may seem like a sacrifice, Thompson said guarantees that people will be blessed by their time helping if they go.

“They will find that they’ve received a greater blessing,” Thompson said. “It’s a wonderful experience to spend the season of giving giving to others who are less fortunate.”

Anyone who wishes to support the ministry with donations may call Thompson at (304) 417-1962.