(8-31-20) The executive director of C.A.L.L. (Community Action Life Line) Ministries, Homer Burnett, shared his message of hope in Mercer County with the membership and friends of St. Pauls United Church of Christ on 8-30-2020. The food bank started up 30 years ago in 1990 and has grown out of their spaces 4 times. Currently they are located in the old Mersman building on North Brandon Ave. in Celina, OH. They serve 600 families over the whole of Mercer County. A non-profit, Christian based organization, founded by many different churches, it stands as the central agency to offer help to those in need.
They rely solely on donations, and do not accept government commodities or grants in order that they can freely spread the word of Jesus Christ in ministering to their clients. Homer told about the cherished volunteers who serve at C.A.L.L. through: organizing projects; distributing food to their clients through the pantry; offering fresh salad greens from their
Aquaponics Center; and providing fresh vegetables and fruits from their outdoor garden. Members of St. Pauls knew of the Backpack Program where children are provided with a weekends worth of food every Friday as they have donated to this and other such programs at C.A.L.L.( At their Fall Festival and Auction in 2019, the church raised $2000 for C.A.L.L.)
But they were surprised as Homer explained their Bed Ministries providing their clients with mattresses, box springs and handmade bed frames. Also the Work 4 Program allows clients to work as Volunteers at C.A.L.L. and the Senior Citizens Center to build up hours toward the securing of Appliances they need, even cars. He told one heartfelt story of a client who was able to get a car from C.A.L.L. and when she eventually got on her feet and bought her own transportation, she donated the car back. Homer explained that they have needs at all times of the year.
Members and friends of the congregation brought donations of toiletries for C.A.L.L. including: toothbrushes, mouthwash, soaps, razors, floss, and many other items. Some members gave cash donations to C.A.L.L.