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Midland Park Community Ministries Celebrates 11 Years of Service
8/7/2013 1:02:14 PM

Midland Park Ministries is a faith-based organization that provides immediate crisis assistance for residents of the Midland Park community. Services include a food pantry, clothes closet and spiritual counseling.

About 11 years ago, a dedicated and enthusiastic group from Midland Park Church (now Riverbluff) decided to plant a deep seed in the Midland Park community, where they had resided for close to 60 years. Although they were moving to a larger facility to accommodate growth, the commitment to serve the community would continue in the form of a Ministry Center. 

"It's amazing how many people stop by to ask if they can look inside the church because it holds such special memories," notes Executive Director Toby Brown. Older residents will remember the church as a strong anchor of community involvement, but younger residents may be more familiar with the Ministry Center, which houses the food pantry and clothes closet. Wynette T. Miller was the first director and she hit the ground running with family friendly programs and deep desire to build relationships. Midland Park Community Ministries has had an after-school program, a summer camp, and offered English as a second language. Toby Brown came on board in May and looks forward to implementing programs for the next decade and a younger generation. 

In June 82 families (227 individuals) were fed. Eighty families received assistance with clothing. "The phones are ringing steadily and more and more people are struggling to avoid becoming homeless. It really hurts badly when there are children are involved.. You just want to cry because you can't fix it," Brown noted. The Ministry Center is beginning to expand their offerings beyond food and clothes. They now have an employment coordinator who, since May, has been assisting clients in their job searches.

Obtaining meaningful employment is the key to long-term financial stability. An employment handbook with current job listings and computers are available for use. 

The pantry and clothes closet are staffed entirely by volunteers who donated more than 5,000 hours last year. "They are the best! Talk about giving of yourself-the volunteers come early, stay late and always go out of their way to encourage clients. They are good Samaritans times 10," said Brown adding, "We couldn't do what we do without them. This is a really wonderful place and it is very blessed." 

Midland Park Community Ministries is a 501 (c) organization supported by Riverbluff Church, donations, corporate sponsorships and grants. It was incorporated in the state in 2002. Curt Bradford is the Senior Pastor and Pastor Joe Still is chairman of the board of directors.

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