Faith Temple outreach program needs bigger 'pasture'

December 19, 2003|HERB BROCK

The Rev. Jolene Bailey has two flocks. In her day job as pastor of Faith Temple Church, she tends to the needs of a congregation of Christians. In her other position, as head of Community Friends Outreach, she tends to a community of people in need.

The headquarters for both her roles in life is the same place - the Otter Street church where she's pastor. But conditions are very different. There is plenty of room in the towering church to meet the needs of her church flock. However, there is very little room to meet the needs of her community flock.

Because she is in need of a bigger pasture for her community flock, Bailey is issuing an S.O.S. to people who own property in the vicinity of her church: please donate a facility that will be able to handle food and clothes for a growing program whose leaders would like to see it expand.


"We have been using a small room in the basement of the church to store our growing stocks of food, and there just isn't enough space," said Bailey. "We are hoping that it lays on someone's heart to donate use of a building or part of a building that could house both food and clothing for the needy.

"We wouldn't be asking for a donation if we could handle it ourselves. But the fact is, our program runs on love and compassion and is strictly volunteer. We have no money at all," she said.

Community Friends Outreach began essentially as a food bank when it took over a food distribution program for Boyle County for the Bluegrass Community Action Agency. The program was moved from a small room in the basement of the Boyle County Courthouse to an even smaller room in the basement of Faith Temple.

"From September 2002 to September 2003, we had more than 20,000 pounds of food at one time or another in our basement storage room," said Bailey. "We have had way more food than we can handle, space-wise."

She added that food has been generated for the outreach program through various food drives, including ones conducted by postal workers, McDowell Place, local schools, and the Families First family resource center of the Danville school system.

"We used to take only canned goods and other nonperishable foods, but we had a big freezer donated to us, so we now store and then distribute meats," she said.

The program's list of clients has quintupled in recent months.

"We used to serve three to four families a week. Now we're serving up to 20 families a week," said Bailey.

In addition to its regular clients, the program also participates in a monthly project sponsored by God's Pantry of Lexington in which Community Friends Outreach and other similar programs provide food, clothes and other essential items to needy people at the Boyle County Fairgrounds. Bailey's program provides 100 boxes for families with children and for the elderly.

As busy as her program has been, Bailey would like to see it even busier.

"We want to add a clothes bank and space where we can store diapers, baby formula and other often-requested items for babies and children," she said.

Bailey wants a bigger store of more supplies so she can handle the growing demand her program is facing.

"We primarily have been serving Boyle County people, but we have been getting more and more requests for help from people from Lincoln and Mercer counties," she said. "These are people who live in the other counties but work in Danville, or did until they got laid off.

"More people from Boyle County require our help, and people from other counties need our help," Bailey said. "We believe we can get the food, clothes and other things people need from the very generous people here.

"What we need is a lot more space to put it. God willing, someone will provide that space."

For information about Community Friends

Outreach and inquiries about donating a facility for its food and clothing program, call Jolene Bailey at (859) 236-3454 or 516-1886.

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