February 2000 Newsletter

Spring, 2000


As I sit to write to you today, I am aware that the homeless situation in our community has enlarged. Our numbers are high and as of today, we are again at a place where every bed is taken and we can only offer floor space. Single men, single women, families with babies and teenagers… we have them all! I am trying to discern whether this is just a trend or if this increase is here to stay. One thing is for sure: the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer!

Before I say another word, I must say this: THANK YOU. So many of you responded with kindness as I reached out for help recently. I am so grateful for your letters, prayers and financial support! I am doing much better. I feel like I have regained some perspective! Good Works is doing much better financially. God is good. So are you!

As many of you may already know, we are planning to build an office and hospitality center on the Luhrig land near Hannah House beginning this spring. We have been in desperate need for workspace for several years and after exhausting our options near the shelter on Central Avenue, the board agreed to authorize a campaign to raise the funds to build. Right now, we are in the initial stage of trying to raise the funds and seeking adult work groups who can come for several days this summer and fall and help us build this facility. A special appeal letter will be going out next month. In the meantime, would you consider an investment into this project?

GOOD GIFTS has gained a momentum of its own. As you may remember, we import hand-crafted quality gift products through a company called Ten Thousand Villages. Our vision is to help the poor internationally in third world countries as well as citizens locally moving from welfare to work. I am so excited about this project. The vending buggy was stationed on Union Street in Athens last fall and during the weeks before Christmas we opened a little shop in the front room of Hannah House.
Our job-partners along with our Job Coaches have done great job. Our student volunteers are a true inspiration. We are now selling “off site” which means we take our products to different organizations and churches and sell them. If you know of a group who would be interested in hosting us for an hour, please contact Casey Teagarden @ 740.594.3336. I have been very encouraged by the community response to this project. We are developing marketing plan and recruiting volunteers for the spring. In addition to off-site visits, we are open one day a week at Hannah House (Friday’s from 10-2pm).

SUMMER SERVICE & SUMMER KIDS CLUB. Plans are underway to launch our third SUMMER KIDS CLUB in conjunction with our SUMMER SERVICE. We are presently recruiting and interviewing to hire four summer interns who will work with our daily hot lunch and activities outreach for neighborhood kids. Last summer, we averaged 30 kids every day and provided them with a hot lunch followed by a wide range of activities which included animal day, magician day, special visitor day and field trips. Almost every day had some kind of sporting activity too. We are also in communication with several youth groups who are interested in coming to rural Appalachia this summer and serving on our properties as well as serving needy citizens in the county. If you know of a youth and/or adult group who would like to come and serve with us for several days this summer, please have them contact Bart Bruehler or Paul Richard at 740.594.3336.

OUR RETREAT CABIN is nearing completion! This project is intended to provide a mini-retreat for people in full time ministry (Pastors and full time Christian workers). We hope to announce a date when you can offer this retreat & respite to someone you know. If you would like to participate in the finish work of this project, contact Bart Bruehler . We are especially in need of a bricklayer to build a floor for our wood stove.

COFFEE HOUSE. After a great deal of prayer, discussion and waiting on God, we have decided to launch a new initiative on Fridays after the Friday Night Supper called COFFEE HOUSE. This project replaces our men’s and women’s groups which have been going on for several years after the Supper. We experimented with a coffeehouse last year and felt that this was very fruitful. The initial project will be a joint effort of all the staff and will include special music, testimonies, bible teaching, comedy, and good coffee! We intend to launch this project March 31, 2000. Our vision for this project is to see our friends touched by the presence and power of God to the degree that their lives are transformed by the ONE who holds their future.

INTERNS. Good Works has developed several internship opportunities to fulfill our vision of discipleship in ministry to the poor. Our residential internship is an opportunity for a single adult to share their life with a recovering homeless person at our Hannah House. Interns share living space and help to mentor recovering homeless people who have been screened and who are working on long term goals. Interns usually hold jobs in the community during their internship and are encouraged to serve in other aspects of Good Works. Our academic internships provide students an opportunity to work for college credit while working in different aspects of Good Works. Our non-academic internships are designed for Christians who want to extend their faith and develop their skills by assisting once a week in the shelter. Interns are trained, supervised and provided with significant responsibility. We are really seeking interns right now!

NEEDS: We really need a tractor (or riding mower) for the Hannah House property. We also need to borrow some scaffolding for the summer to do some work on the Hannah House. Other needs: Coffee, creamer, sugar, plastic garbage bags, laundry soap, phone cards, glass soup bowls, honey, bleach, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, a crib, porch chairs and tables, a vacuum cleaner, kitchen knife set, fruit juices, men’s razors, toilet paper, napkins, paper towels!

Finally, I want to express again how very grateful I am for each of you who have walked with us as we seek DO what Jesus said Christians ought to DO! Our financial situation improved because of your loyal support. THANK YOU! Have you ever considered giving to Good Works through electronic transfer? If you are interested in more information about this, call and talk with Sherilyn Sutton at 740.594.3333

Love is a verb,
Keith Wasserman