Special from the Adams Rescue Mission

By Lex McMillan

For more than 40 years, the Adams Rescue Mission has operated a store that is stocked by donations from community members.  It has clothing, household items, furniture, books, toys, and holiday items.  Now known as the ARM Boutique, its mission is “to carry the character of the Heavenly Father to those who seek him, as we provide compassion and take care of the needs of the community.”

Although store sales provide a vital source of operating revenue for the ARM, those in need often receive clothing and home furnishings without charge.  Last year more than 600 individuals and families qualified for this service.  Known as the “voucher program,” those who qualify must meet income and need criteria through an interview with ARM staff.

Jill Herbert usually interviews those who seek this assistance.  She says that their stories reflect the many different faces of poverty in our community and the challenge of finding affordable housing for those with low incomes.  A recent example was a young, single mother with three small children.  They had no beds and very little furniture in their tiny apartment.  Seeing their big smiles over something that so many take for granted brings her joy.

Another recent example was grandparents who agreed to take custody of their grandchildren who had been removed from their parents’ home by Children and Youth Services.  Although the grandparents love their grandchildren, they have limited income and had no beds for their grandchildren.  “They were overwhelmed,” Jill said.  ARM was able to provide beds and other basic household furnishings for the children.

House fires have brought others to ARM’s voucher program.  After a devastating fire, some have needed everything to start over: furniture, beds, plates, silverware, chairs, tables, dressers, and clothing.  ARM met their needs.

When ARM or Agape House clients are ready to move on, they often need help with home furnishings.  They also frequently qualify for the program.

ARM Executive Director Bruce Dietrick recalls the story of a single mother with several children who had been living with relatives but suddenly were told to leave.  They found a place to live but had no furniture.  “We filled the house and delivered it,” Bruce said with pride.

Delivery of the furnishings is a regular part of the voucher service.  Most who qualify don’t have the means of transporting the larger items, so the same men who pick up contributions deliver them to the qualified beneficiaries.

Dietrick said the clothing and furnishings are used but in good condition.  “This is not junk,” he observed. “It’s given in the name of Jesus,” he says.  “I won’t give it away if I wouldn’t use it.”

The ARM Boutique is open Monday-Saturday, 9-5.

The Adams Rescue Mission exists to proclaim the passion of Jesus toward the hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted; to accelerate recovery and restoration to the least, last, lonely, and lost.  Lex McMillan is an ARM board member.

To support the Mission: http://www.adamsrescuemission.org/donate-now.