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You are needed on this, our once-a-year day

Every year, about this time, Mountain of Faith Ministries makes its annual call to us for support of their efforts to help women and children come in from the cold. Homelessness is hard any time of the year, but it’s least tolerable in the cold when you’re hungry, and especially to children at Christmastime.

The sudden, sad passing of Mountain of Faith’s revered founder, the late Tina Hayward, is still with us, but receding as both the needs and the numbers grow more urgent every year.

This past year saw the unexpected loss of a $155,000 state grant that threatened the loss of the entire operation. But its executive director Betty James promised that they wouldn’t close — and they didn’t.

Homeless women and children still exist. So does this shelter.

And so again, on Nov. 8, Mountain of Faith will present its annual once-a-year fundraising day for at least another year.

This is our once-a-year day. And we need you.

It was only a month ago that an $8,000 grant by Home Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas was awarded to Mountain of Faith Ministries. The grant came during a long financial drought about which Ms. James had said, “My staff has not been paid since March simply because we don’t have the proper funds or cash flow.”

But every penny of that grant was going to the actual operation and maintenance of the shelter in Vicksburg.

The operations of an entire economy seem unable to support even those who work. Imagine those who don’t. Then try to imagine those whose lives are enmeshed in abuse every day. Whose daily lives never include a trip to Walmart or Kroger.

So every year, about this time, they ask you for your help. They ask you to come to lunch. By now it is established. Every year Mountain of Faith Ministries identifies and celebrates those who “feed” the hungry and “shelter” the homeless. There is a line in “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry which says, “You are responsible forever for what you have tamed.” And these people truly are. They show us the way, and we need to know them. We need to know who they are.

The best way to do that is to come to the luncheon. It’s a great meal with a great group of people. Tickets are just $25, every cent of which goes to operate and maintain the ministries’ Faith House Shelter.

Last year, in just one Sunday after church, I sold more than $200 in tickets. I’m going to shamelessly do the same thing again at the same church, St. Mary’s, on Sunday. I’m also going to ask and accompany our pastor, Fr. Joseph Chau Nguyen, to come and meet with these people.

Good people need to know one another. Which is also why I’m asking you.

Mountain of Faith Ministries is open each day at 8 a.m. and is located at 1529 Walnut Street. Their phone number is 601-501-4508.

Please go. Please call. Please come.

 

Yolande Robbins is a community columnist for The Vicksburg Post.