|Ginghamsburg creates a 'new path'|
|Written by Editor|
|Monday, 30 April 2012 16:38|
Ray and Jo Wilder and Debbie Griffith (far left) preside over a New Path food drive.
By JAMES TRZECIAK
The group originally opened Harvest Field Ministry in 1999, a food pantry that also served those in need of financial assistance, specifically in disconnect notices. With its success came talk of applying for a 501(c)(3), the IRS distinction for a tax exempt organization. When the application was approved, New Path was born.
Other programs were quickly added to the New Path umbrella such as Anna’s Closet in Troy. This resale shop sells “gently used” clothing and accessories. The shop also provides clothing at no charge through a certificate program for New Path families. Households can receive one certificate every six months. In 2011, 3,123 certificates were given out.
Another program called C.A.R.S., or Christian Auto Redemption, takes donated cars and repairs them to be given to New Path members that “earn” the car through attending Life Skills classes and volunteering.
“These programs are here to give people a hand up, not a hand out,” Loschi said.
The program gave out 20 cars last year. However, the donations have slowed lately as Goodwill ramped up their donation program. New Path and CARS have 29 qualified families waiting for a vehicle.
Now the Programs Director for New Path, Loschi’s key responsibilities include coordinating the hundreds of volunteers each week for two food pantries, a clothing store, along with car, furniture, pet care, and rent/utility assistance and medical equipment ministries.
She said that through J.J.’s Furniture, another New Path program, over a thousand pieces of furniture and other household goods at no charge were given to families in need in 2011.
The food pantries alone served 21,420 people last year. That’s enough to fill the Dayton Dragon’s stadium for three sold out nights.
The pantry provides a box of food once a month to those who qualify for federal poverty guidelines. Local stores and businesses donate the food along with help from USDA Commodities, and food drives at Ginghamsburg Church.
“What excites me about the program is that we are neighbors helping neighbors. We’re not just about relief but we’re also here to help families develop,” Loschi said.
She added, “We’re not just throwing out freebies; we want to help people have a better life.”
For information about volunteering, donating, or receiving assistance yourself, visit NewPathOutreach.org or call (937) 669-1213.