The Portsmouth, Ohio UCG congregation recently received funding for a community outreach program through the Good Works Program. We purchased two mini-libraries and installed them outside of our church building. One library contains traditional reading material for children as well as church literature. The other library contains non-perishable food pantry items.
The county we are in has a high poverty rate, with some statistics listing children living in poverty at the rate of almost 40 percent. We believe that these books will give people access to reading material and church literature - both of which are important to people’s lives. The food items will assist in a small way with the food insecurity that many people feel in the neighborhood where our church building is located.
Volunteers from our congregations installed and stocked the boxes initially. Two organized, faithful women were then selected to oversee the scheduling of restocking on a weekly basis. The Good Works program funded the first stock of supplies, but then members of the congregations have been bringing items every week since then. We contacted the local school system, the township trustees, and the local library system to make them aware of the program. Since its beginning, we’ve distributed over 150 cans of food and approximately 25 books. It seems the program is off to a successful start.