Over 50 years ago, parishoners at the time (under the leadership of member Pat Stout) undertook a sack lunch program to feed those in the area of the church who were experiencing homelessness.
Today, the ministry has grown into a multifaceted service to the community, and one of the primary ways that we as a body of Christ seek to meet Christ's challenge; “Truly I tell you, just as you did for the least of these, you did for me.” This work is always in need more volunteers and generosity from parishoners to keep meeting needs.
What is the Porch House?
The Porch House is the informal name for Emmanuel's 100% volunteer staffed ministry to meet critical needs for those who are the poorest and most vulnerable in our community, primarily those who are food insecure and homeless. The works of this ministry include:
Sack lunch distribution Monday - Friday, 11 am - 12pm
Showers on Tuesdays & Thursdays
Emergency food pantry
Limited funds for utility bills & rent assistance
Additional items to meet needs, including hygiene products, underwear for males and females, socks, knit caps, gloves, rain gear, first aid supplies, hot coffee and bottled water.
These ministries run on the efforts of 20-30 volunteers each week. This ministry has a budget each year for its primary functions, but it relies heavily on the donations of parishoners and community members to maintain stock of items like clothing and toiletries which many of the porch house clients need, in addition to funds to help those who have fallen behind on bills and face losing their utilities or housing.
How can I help this important ministry to our community?
Volunteer: Right now, the porch house needs volunteers to help run the Clothing Closet. This would include intake and organization of donated clothing as well as distributing clothing to porch house clients. There is scheduling flexibility here, so if you have interest in serving this need, contact our volunteer director, Jeanni Pruitt at (903) 573-4020, for more information.
Donate: This ministry only thrives through the donations of our parish, and there are several ways that you can donate.
Give funds to the cause: you can write a check or make a cash gift to this ministry, just write "benevolence" on the memo. You can also give online through our website, here -- select "Feeding the Hungry" from the dropdown. You can even set up an automatically recurring gift to the ministry through this online form!
Give needed items: As mentioned above, the Porch House gives out clothing, hygiene products, and toiletries throughout the year. Donating lightly used clothing, especially pants and coats, is a big help to the ministry. Coordinator Jeanni Pruitt also posts need lists on our facebook group, Emmanuel Friends, throughout the year.
Thank you for reading, and for helping us love our neighbors.