One of Mississippi County's oldest charitable institutions is asking the community to increase its support in order to keep their facility in operation.
The Mississippi County Union Mission was established in 1956, and continues to serve as a temporary home for county residents on hard times, as well as a soup kitchen and provider of clothing and household items, job training and home placement.
So far this year, the Mission has provided emergency food boxes to 839 households -- a total of 1,993 individuals and 39,341 pounds of food. Help with prescription medicine was provided to 42 people and clothing to 5,449. Furniture was provided to 28 families and miscellaneous household and baby items to 124 individuals, among other types of assistance.
Some grant money occasionally becomes available for building projects and other such dedicated funds, but the operational funds that cover all of those daily items come mainly from private donations, not government funds, and according to members of the Mission's board of governors, donors are becoming more and more scarce.
"Our reserves are dwindling," said Shari King, the Mission's Executive Director. "We appreciate item donations but we really have to have help with funding to purchase food and other necessities. People don't just come stay here and loaf around, they work. They get educated and they become more successful. This is important work and we need help to keep doing it."
Board member Jim Willard said that churches, community groups, and individuals must pitch in to help support this vital mission.
"The Mission's goal is to give help to anyone with a verifiable need," he said. "In these economically difficult times, the donations to operate the Mission have suffered, jobs offered by the community are fewer, and we need your help to meet the growing needs of the people who come to us for help."
Single donations, or monthly or annual pledges are appreciated, and anyone interested in contributing or volunteering to help the Mission can contact Shari King at (870) 763-8380 or mail a donation to P.O. Box 501, Blytheville, AR, 72316.