MOUNT CLARE — The United Methodist Churches in North Central West Virginia will be coming together, again, to collect items and raise funds for 10 different community missions across the state.
Quiet Dell United Methodist Pastor Brian Boley said this has been an annual event for almost 10 years now but this year they are trying to make it bigger than ever.
“We want to extend this mission because the need is so great right now,” he said. “The main reason this is so important is because these missions really got tapped out between the floods and the coal mine layoffs in the last year.”
The churches are collecting items such as diapers, toilet paper, baby formula, cleaning supplies, and monetary donations, Boley said.
“These different missions help to fill in the cracks that are left by a lot of social service agencies,” he said. “It’s important to note that all the money stays in West Virginia and goes directly to the mission projects.”
Boley said the donations of items as well as money are all divided evenly among the various projects to help fill some of the needs. Rev. Bonnie Starkey of Vincent Memorial United Methodist Church in Nutter Fort emphasized the importance of this event.
“We do this every year to raise funds to help the missions help those in need in West Virginia,” she said. “With all that’s been going on, these missions have really taken a toll this year.”
The Rev. Alicia Rapking, director of the Upshur Parish House, said this event is a huge help to their ministry every year. Along with the parish house, Crosslines is a ecumenical ministry that is also supported.
“Our primary purpose is the meet the emergency needs for people with low income,” she said. “This includes money for rent, lodging for homeless, clothing, and our food pantry.”
The Upshur Parish House serves on average 100 families a week, Rapking said. The COME events raise much needed money for various mission projects similar to the parish house across the state.
“This helps to raise the money we wouldn’t necessarily have. People always give, but there’s always still going to be a need,” she said. “The money we get goes towards the project’s needs.”
Rapking said around this time they are asking for donations of cleaning supplies, brooms, mops, buckets, detergent, and household items of the sort.
“Most of our folks are going through different home inspections this time of year and with SNAP, they can’t buy those types of products,” she said. “This is huge because it gives them the items they need.”
The drive will conclude with the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Celebration of Mission Event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 6 at the Quiet Dell United Methodist Church. Boley said the community is invited out to participate in the event.
“There will be food sold for both…